1955: Drilling for oil will begin on March 21 near St Ann’s Bay, off the main north coast highway.It is announced by Mr John O. Maberry, executive vice-president and general manager of the Base Metals Mining Corporation, staying at Tower Isle Hotel. Half-a-million dollars worth of drilling material, weighing more than 600,000 lbs, will arrive at Ocho Rios on the Reynolds Bauxite boat, Dragon, on March 15, and so will a member of the board of directors of the company.

1958: Damage running into several thousand pounds is done to the Savanna-la-mar Hospital as fire, the origin of which has not been clearly ascertained, breaks out in the old hospital. Razed by the fire or destroyed to prevent its spread is the administrative block including the dispensary, dental clinic, maternity and female surgical wards and the outpatient department. Quick work by the staff of the hospital and outside help saved all patients from fire injury.

1959: The city’s waterfront comes to a standstill for the second time in six weeks, as port workers who staged an unauthorised go-slow the previous day are laid off by the shippers. The new development followed the refusal of the port workers to heed a warning by the shippers that they would be laid off if they failed to resume normal working. Mr. Ernest Johnston, chairman of the Shipping Association of Jamaica, says that when the men were asked to return to normal work, they refused to comply even though they were told that their refusal would result in them being laid off.


1963: The Hon. Donald Burns Sangster, minister of finance and leader of the House of Representatives is appointed deputy prime minister and is the first person to hold such a post. In recent times, Prime Minister, Sir Alexander Bustamante hinted that he would appoint a deputy prime minister to take precedence over all other ministers and lead the Government whenever he should be absent from the island.


1965: Acting on the advice of his chief engineer, the chairman of the Water Commission, the Hon. A. Russell Graham, warns that if within a week there were not a 40 per cent reduction in consumption of water in the Corporate Area, he would have to forcibly curtail the use of water. While storage was now down to a 35-day supply, Mr. Graham emphasised that the Water Commission was geared to supply water for essential services at all times. They need not fear, he said, as water for normal usage in the home would always be available.

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