March 2: “Secret Marxist-Communist Group Inside The Party”

1950: Jamaica’s athletes taking part in the Caribbean and Central American Olympic Games in Guatemala covers themselves with glory. Never before in the history of the Caribbean Games have any team so numerically insufficient – 29 in all – done so well. Presently, Jamaica has gained eight gold medals, 12 silver medals and one bronze medal, apart from securing place positions in seven other events. 


1952: The General Council of the People’s National Party, by 23 votes to 12 votes, request the resignation of the party’s second vice-president, Mr. Ken Hill, and three members of the Executive Committee, Mr. Frank Hill, Mr. Richard Hart and Mr Arthur Henry, as the council accepted the findings and recommendations of the ‘Marxist Charges’ tribunal. The tribunal had found that these TUC leaders were guilty of setting up a secret Marxist-communist group inside the party and of “gross and grave” disloyalty to the party. 


1957: A grand fourth-wicket partnership of 148 by John Holt Jr and Neville Bonitto, enables Jamaica to make a magnificent recovery after being down three wickets for 48 runs and end the day with 297 for the loss of 7 wickets at Sabina Park. It was the first day of the four-day Colony match between Jamaica and the Duke of Norfolk’s Cricket Club, and a 4,000 crowd saw a fine day of cricket.


1962: The greatest tragedy in the history of Black River Harbour occurs when a boat conveying 72 portworkers capsized by the side of a ship about a mile offshore. Nine men are reported to have drowned. A particularly sad feature of the tragedy arose out of the fact that one man, Headley Daley, was actually saved by a fellow portworker, but when placed on the last rung of the ship’s ladder, he was too exhausted to stay there and he rolled back into the water and was lost. 


1978: “Unless help of a very substantial nature comes to the rescue shortly, this Government might very well be going through its last stages,” says Opposition Leader Edward Seaga in a comment on the removal of the Hon David Coore as minister of finance. The dismissal of Mr Coore, he added, was not an indication that the Government was prepared to carry out this shake-up. In fact, it was a statement that the Government wished to carry on as usual. 


1983: Prime Minister Edward Seaga, in his capacity as minister of energy, says that 25 of the island’s 33 watershed areas are being gazetted so that work can begin in these areas where hillsides are being rapidly devegetated and, as a result, experiencing soil erosion and severe water loss. The project is to be carried out by the Natural Resources Conservation Department of the Ministry of Mining and Energy and is aimed at upgrading the conditions of the watershed areas so as to reduce soil erosion, increase water-retention capacity and minimise the effects of flooding.