March 24: “Charged The Trade Unions With Employing Thugs And Assassins”

1950: The Hon R.L.M. Kirkwood in the Legislative Council charged the Trade Unions with employing “thugs and assassins” to foment the strike at Worthy Park sugar estate, and demanded that Government take necessary action to put an end to the serious situation instigated by “terrorist methods”. Declaring that there was no trade dispute at Worthy Park, but “simply an attempt on the part of a certain union to obtain recognition in contravention to the existing agreement between the factory owners and the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union”, Kirkwood asserted that “if this kind of thing is to be permitted, sooner or later it would mean that the political parties will take a leaf out of the trade union’s book and employ private armies, and this country would be plunged into civil war”.


1954: In presenting the report on the operations for the year 1953 of the Coconut Industry Board at the annual general meeting of the Registered Coconut Growers in the lecture hall of the Institute of Jamaica, the chairman, A.H. Phillips deplores the fact that the number of registered growers was so small in comparison with the number of growers who had delivered copra to the board.


1955: A further steep decline has taken place in the price of cocoa on the London and the New York markets. Jamaica has been selling no cocoa for the past two weeks, but computations are that the latest developments put the price for the local product at less than 300/- per hundredweight, or a minimum 20/- below its best selling price.


1959: As a result of the fire at Pedro Plains, St Elizabeth, which destroyed hundreds of acres of cultivations and rendered many people homeless, the Central Emergency Relief Committee at the request of the chief minister and the minister of home affairs has dispatched four area officers to the scene. The officers have taken with them food tickets to be drawn on shops, clothing for 100 children and 50 blankets. The minister of housing has also sent five prefabricated houses to the area.


1964: Caribbean Products Limited is acquired by Seprod Limited the biggest-ever deal in local coconut industry history. With Caribbean Products Limited, in the sale goes Industrial Sales Limited, a merchandising firm marketing products from the Caribbean Products manufacturing plant. The purchase price of both organisations is understood to be just a little under £1 million.


1970: The Government of Jamaica and Water Commission enter into a contract with the internationally known American firm of consulting engineers Messrs Harza Engineering Company, to carry out an economic and technical feasibility study in relation to the proposed Blue Mountain water supply project. The study starting almost immediately is to be carried out with the assistance of loan financing from the United States (US) government at an estimated cost of $556,440. The US firm is carrying it out in a joint venture association with the local consulting engineering firm of Hue Lyew Chin with management vested in Harza.