January 4: “The Controversial Vale Royal”

1938: The Jamaica Progressive League holds its first regular monthly meeting in the St John’s College Hall. Probably due to the fact that the league is in its infancy, the meeting was not well-attended, but some of those who were present took the opportunity of showering questions on the president.


1949: Forty-seven student nurses go into residence at Mona to inaugurate the commencement of a new era in hospital training in Jamaica. The trainees will spend 12 weeks in the Mona quarters before going on to the Kingston Public Hospital, where they will complete the three-year course.

1957: Around 9:30 p.m., a large glass jar containing nitric acid explodes in the photo-engraving department of The Gleaner Company, and starts a small blaze, accompanied by dense chemical fumes. A fire extinguisher from the editorial department was used to put out the blaze.


1963: Proposal to build a residence for the prime minister of the island is being studied by the Government and the relevant ministries concerned. Decision to provide an official prime minister’s residence was taken in principle at a meeting of ministers after it had been decided that the controversial Vale Royal was not suitable for that purpose, in respect both of residence and the inadequate accommodation for stay-over guests.


1968: Minister of Finance and Planning Edward Seaga announces that a design has been decided upon for the mausoleum to be erected in honour of the late Prime Minister of Jamaica, Sir Donald Sangster. Shortly after the death of Sir Donald, the Government decided that a proper mausoleum should be erected in the National Shrine at George VI Memorial Park and designs were invited from the public. The design selected was prepared by Mostyn F. Campbell, chief architect in the Ministry of Communications and Works.


1983: Vendors, formerly of King Street and South Parade, in downtown Kingston, start doing business in the arcade at Church and Laws streets.


1988: Government plans to introduce a staggering of work and school hours in an effort to eliminate the long wait at bus stops by commuters during peak hours. This new system will mean that some workers may be asked to report to work about an hour later than usual. Preliminary discussions have already been held with interested parties with a view to implementing the staggering-of-hours system.