May 16: “John Powell Acquitted On Obeah Charge”

1934: John Powell is acquitted in the Half-Way Tree Court by C.C. Sandford, on a charge of practising obeah. The case against Powell occupied many hours on different days and, at the end, left the judge so doubtful that he liberated the man. “I am not saying that you may not have practised obeah.” Sandford says, “and indeed I believe that black candle was found on your premises. There is, however, not enough evidence that it was ever used, and the witnesses for the prosecution made conflicting statements,”states Sanford as he liberates Powell.

1959: Peter Phillips defeats Arthur Scholefield in four sets in the final of the Liguanea Lawn Tennis singles. The scores are 4-6, 7-5, 9-7 and 6-4. Phillips scores the triple when he pairs with Scholefield to hold Vernon March and Ramon Alberga in the men’s doubles final 3-6, 6-1, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4.

1960: An announcement is made by the Government that Britain’s colonial secretary, Iain MacLeod, will pay an official visit to Jamaica on June 3. This visit will be the first of a Secretary of State for the Colonies since January 1945 when Colonel Oliver Stanley spent a week, during which he opened the first legislature under the 1944 constitution that brought universal adult suffrage.

1966: The Child Welfare Association’s Parents’ Week is declared open by Dr M.A. Byer, principal medical officer in the Ministry of Health, who placed emphasis on the responsibility of mothers in the family. The theme of the week, which ends on Sunday, is ‘Family Responsibility’.

1981: A group of 15 Venezuelan private- and public-sector businessmen arrives here to have discussions with Jamaican businessmen and to hold a one-week trade exhibition at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel. The group is headed by José A. Borges, director of export promotion in the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry. They are met at the Norman Manley International Airport by officials of the Venezuelan Embassy, headed by the Chargé d’Affaires Jorge Escobar.

1983: The eighth session of the general conference of the Agency for Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America opens at the Government Conference Centre in downtown Kingston, with a warning that no nation can win a nuclear war; and a call for a freeze on the acquisition of conventional weapons.

1985: Defending champions Mico College retain the Inter-Collegiate Cricket Cup when they defeat the College of Arts, Science and Technology (CAST) by six wickets in the limited-overs final at Melbourne Oval. The scores are CAST 84 all out in 25.4 of the allotted overs, and Mico 85 for 4 in 25.5 overs.