March 29: “Turning The Jamaican Film-Distribution Industry Into A Virtual Monopoly”

1948: Russell D. Bell, president of the Jamaica Public Service Company Ltd, leaves Jamaica by a K.L.M. Royal Dutch Airlines plane for Miami, en route to Canada after a five-week business and pleasure visit. In an exclusive interview with a Gleaner reporter at the Palisadoes airport before his departure, Bell says, “We have been asked by the Government to continue operation of tramways for a further period and to formulate conditions under which we would be able to do so.” He further says that they are reluctant to carry on after May 10, the date that was agreed upon for discontinuance but under the unfortunate circumstances, feel they must do what they can.


1953: Aggressive acts against press freedom in some Latin American countries are freely discussed at the executive board meeting of the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA) at Montego Bay. The basis of the discussion is a comprehensive report presented to the meeting by Jules DuBois of the Chicago Herald-Tribune, who is president of the IAPA’s Freedom of the Press Committee. As a result, a resolution was passed deprecating governmental anti-press actions in several countries and calling on all 233 members of the association to stand by their resolve to resist anti-press action wherever it arises.


1955: The Chamber of Commerce issues a statement making it clear that recent increases in the prices of certain commodities are the direct result of increases in prices abroad and have nothing to do with the item having been removed from control. It has been brought to the attention of the Chamber, by members of the mercantile community, that certain other misleading statements have been put into circulation and a general meeting of those engaged in commerce will be called to clarify those matters.


1961: A. Russell Graham, managing director of the Tropical Cinema Company Limited, acquires the 55 per cent controlling interest of the J. Arthur Rank Organisation in the Palacement Company Limited, turning the Jamaican film-distribution industry into a virtual monopoly. The cost is guardedly admitted by Graham.


1970: Against the backdrop of the hills, in the soft light of the early morning, worshippers gather in the George VI Memorial Park for an Easter sunrise service. The Jamaica Council of Churches cooperated with the Salvation Army in sponsoring the service, and the Kingston Kiwanis clubs also assisted in making the arrangements.

1972: The police backed up by the military carry out massive house-to-house searches in parts of Kingston and Montego Bay, as the drive to ferret out unlicensed guns and wanted men following the 21-day amnesty goes underway. One wanted man is shot and killed by the police in Montego Bay and a revolver taken from him. Forty-three persons are detained during the operations and a quantity of ganja seized. Twenty-seven of those detained are held in Kingston.