It is that time again when most Jamaicans celebrate their independence from colonial rule. Jamaica has various national symbols, which are the representatives of their rich history & culture. Its national Flag, Tree, Fruit and Bird, all signifies its rich culture, which defines the Jamiacans, who are extremely proud of where they come from.
The Flag brings memories of the past achievements to mind. It also imparts inspiration toward further successes. It gets flown during several triumphant occasions and shows the pride, which Jamaicans have in the country as well as the flag. The flag is of three different colors such as black, gold and green. Black depicts creativity and strength of its people; gold depicts the wealth & beauty of the sunlight and the green, which shows the hope and the agricultural resources.
The Blue Mohoe (Hibiscus Elatus) is the National Tree of Jamaica. Its National fruit is the Ackee (Blighia sapida). Last but not the least, its National bird is the beautiful Doctor-bird, which is also called as Swallow-tail humming bird. Thus, these symbols distinguish the Jamaicans from the others.When you have like-minded folks in one place, at one time, listening, tasting and sharing a love of something, you truly get that feeling of All Right.
The Colony of Jamaica gained independence from the United Kingdom on 6 August 1962. In Jamaica, this date is celebrated as Independence Day, a national holiday.
Many Jamaicans that were shipped from Africa reverted back to their ancestral occupations, some became farmers or fishermen, while others returned to the trades – barber, goldsmith and ironsmith,shoemakers,tailors,dressmakers now known as fashion designers.
During the first half of the 20th century the most notable leader was Marcus Garvey, a labor leader and advocate of Black nationalism.
Garvey, to no avail, pleaded with the colonial government to improve living conditions for indigenous peoples in the West Indies. Upon returning from international travels, he founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League in 1914, which promoted civil rights for blacks in Jamaica and abroad.
As World War II came to a close, a sweeping movement of decolonisation overtook the world. British Government and local politicians began a long transition of Jamaica from a crown colony into an independent state. The political scene was dominated by PNP and JLP, with the houses of legislature switching hands between the two throughout the 1950s.
When is the Independence Day of Jamaica?
Jamaica, in the Caribbean Sea, celebrates its Independence Day on August 6 each year to commemorate its freedom from British colonial occupation.
Jamaica gained independence in 1962.
How is Independence Day celebrated in Jamaica?
Fifty years ago at midnight on August 5, 1962, the Union Jack was lowered and the flag of Jamaica was unfurled for the first time. The birth of an independent Jamaica was, perhaps, the most significant event in the nation’s history. Today, Jamaicans celebrate the day to commemorate that historic movement, and to reflect on the struggle undertaken to gain autonomy. It is a day of national pride and commemorates the country’s achievements.
Independence Day is a day of grand celebrations in Jamaica; from paying homage to the fallen heroes who fought for the independence of the country to indulging in entertainment, music, dance, and parades with people attired in ethnic costumes, Jamaicans hold many laudatory events.
What is the historic significance of Independence Day of Jamaica?
Christopher Columbus first sighted Jamaica in 1494, and by 1509 Spanish colonists occupied the country. Britain established its control on Jamaica in 1655, but it was not until 1670 that the Spaniards gave up their control and recognized British dominance. The 1700s saw an economic boom with Jamaica becoming largest producer of sugar across the world. The economic boom, however, led to the growth of slavery and other evils. Slavery was later abolished in 1834 after the British colonists enacted the Emancipation Law in wake of growing slave revolts and uprisings.
At about this time nationalistic sentiments were on the rise and a movement towards independence started to take shape. In the1930s and early 1940s, Jamaica saw the birth of two political parties People’s National Party (PNP), and Jamaica Labour Party (JLP). In 1944, Jamaica held its first elections which were won by JLP. JLP was replaced by PNP in 1955, and in 1958 Jamaica joined the Federation of West Indies, but withdrew in 1961. Finally, on August 6, 1962, Jamaica achieved freedom from British colonial rule.
What does the national flag of Jamaica represents?
Jamaica adopted its flag on August 6, 1962, the day it won its independence from the British. It consists of diagonal lines, dividing the flag into four triangles. While the top and bottom are equal green triangles, the left and the right triangles are black in color.
The flag has Pan-African colors, each of which venerates Jamaica’s African legacy. While green is the symbol of hope and agricultural abundance, the yellow is representative of natural resources and sunshine, and Black stands for creativity and courage of the people.
Who wrote the national anthem of Jamaica?
Jamaica, Land We Love, is the national anthem of Jamaica. It was winning entrant of a completion that was held in 1961. It was set to music by Robert Lightbourne (arranged by Mapletoft Poulle) and its lyrics were written by Hugh Sherlock.
CHINESE IMMIGRANTS TO JAMAICA
Chinese Jamaicans are Jamaican people of Chinese ancestry, which include descendants of migrants from China to Jamaica. Early migrants came in the 19th century; there was another wave of migration in the 1980s and 1990s. Many of the descendants of early migrants have moved abroad, primarily to Canada and the United States. Most Chinese Jamaicans are Hakka and can trace their origin to the Chinese labourers who came to Jamaica in the mid-19th to early 20th
The first Chinese-language newspaper in Jamaica, the Zhonghua Shang Bao (中華商報), was founded in 1930 by Zheng Yongkang; five years later, it was taken over by the Chinese Benevolent Association, who renamed it Huaqiao Gongbao (華僑公報). It continued publication until 1956, and was revived in 1975. The Chinese Freemasons also published their own handwritten weekly newspaper, the Minzhi Zhoukan (民治周刊) until 1956. The Pagoda, started in 1940, was the first English-language newspaper for the Chinese community. The local branch of the Kuomintang (Chinese Nationalist Party) also began publishing their own paper, The Chung San News (中山報) in 1953.
THE INDIANS THAT CAME TO JAMAICA
They arrived as indentured labourers between 1845 and 1917. The traditional Indian practice of naming the the boys after gods and heroes and the girls after godesses, rivers, flowers, seasons, moods, or words of great significance have now been completely abandoned. Almost every Indian regardless of his or her religion has anglicized first and second names; the surnames too have been changed except for names such as Maragh and Singh.
The Indians introduced several plants and trees in Jamaica, the most common being betel leaves, betel nut, coolie plum, mango, jackfruit, and tamarind. The food habits of Indians have a distinctly Indian flavour and taste. A typical Indian dinner consists of curried chicken, roti, pulses usually cooked with mangoes, curried potato, eggplant, bitter gourd and okra.
The Germans came as indentured labourers. After emancipation, the Colonial Government of Jamaica adopted a programme of settling European peasants in the island. It was hoped that they would create a thriving settlement and act as a model for the ex-slaves. It was also hoped that if the hills were settled by Europeans, the ex-slaves would continue to work on on the large estates. The programme was never a success.
The first Jews came to the island during the Spanish occupation of the island, 1494-1655. These Jews came from Spain and Portugal. They fled because of the Spanish inquisition. To conceal their identity they referred to themselves as “Portuguese” and practiced their religion secretly.
At the time of the British conquest of the island in 1655, General Venables recorded the presence of many “Portuguese” in Jamaica. The Jews were allowed to remain after the conquest and began to practice their religion openly.
The Jews were granted British citizenship by Cromwell and this was confirmed in 1660 by King Charles. They attained full political rights in 1831. The status of British citizenship enabled ownership of property by the Jews.
In the last decade of the nineteenth century, immigrants from the Middle East began arriving in Jamaica. The majority came from Lebanon, the others were from Damascus in Syria. It is important to note that at the time of the first immigration to Jamaica, the Middle East area was known as Syria and Mount Lebanon was a part of Syria. Later when the countries were divided, the people from Mount Lebanon became known as Lebanese. Through their influence, Syrian bread has become very popular among Jamaicans.
Celebrating In Jamaica With The Natives
Besides the parties, there is the Gala parade in Kingston where hundreds of participants parade the streets dressed in costumes representing the various aspects of our cultural heritage. It is one of the most festive events on the island, full of colour, energy, music and dance. Vendors sell everything from cooked food to sweet treats and snacks and you can purchase toys and trinkets for your children to remember the occasion. Most of all, there is a great sense of unity and pride amongst the Jamaican people.
If you are not looking for entertainment but just want to relax, you can enjoy one of the many beautiful beaches on the island. Hellshire Beach in St. Catherine is known for its great fried fish and the beach is usually very busy with lots to see and do from dancing contests and horseback riding to people-watching. If you want a quieter beach experience, you can travel to the lush, green parish of Portland. There you can go to the Blue Lagoon or Frenchman’s Cove, where the water is always guaranteed to be cool and refreshing. If you choose to go to the north coast, you
can climb the famous Dunn’s River Falls or visit Reggae Beach and enjoy great music and food at the lobster shack. You can swim with dolphins at Dolphin Cove or go on nature tours, bobsled rides or go zip-lining at Mystic Mountain. You can also plan a hike with friends and family to the Blue Mountain and enjoy the fresh breeze and panoramic views. If you are not the outdoor or adventurous type you can watch a movie at the cinema, dine at a restaurant, or watch a play.
Whether you are a resident or travelling to the island for the first time, there is always something to enjoy on the island, especially during these holidays. The most important thing is to think ahead and plan how you want to spend this holiday. That way you can budget it out and not let it pass you by and miss out on something that you might only get to experience during this time of year. Keep safe, enjoy and make sure whatever you chose to do you won’t be dissappointed.
Our authentic Jamaican Country Bus, the “Zion Bus Line”, will take you on a unique tour from Island Village in Ocho Rios, via Claremont to the birth and final resting place of the King of Reggae, Bob Marley. This pilgrimage has been specifically designed for Reggae enthusiasts and hardcore Bob Marley fans, who would like to visit the “Graceland” of Reggae. Rock to the rhythm of Bob’s greatest hits as your “dreadlocked” driver negotiates the narrow winding country roads to the mountain village of Nine Miles. If you are a baby boomer who was hip to the 60’s & 70’s music of Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Jimmy Cliff, or if you are now a fan of Shaggy, Beenie Man and the Dance Hall phenomenon, this is a Reggae experience you can’t miss.
Usain Bolt Shares His Thoughts From Rio On Jamaican Independence Day
“It’s a great day for us, we are using this as always to push us,” he explained to The Gleaner, “This is normally the time when we push forward in the Olympics and we will enjoy the day as always so have fun and love each other.” On August 6, 1962, the nation was officially granted its Independence from England and became an independent country. In addition to Jamaicans now having access to equal rights, it symbolized the birth of a new nation.
Like every Olympic competition, all eyes are on Bolt as he makes his return to the Men’s Track and Feild 100m, 200m and Men’s 4x100m relay, respectively next week. Known for being the fastest man in the world, the 29-year-old became the first player to win six gold medals in the sprinting category.
The Star Apple is a native of the Greater Antilles, including Jamaica, and was introduced from these islands to the rest of the tropical world. When cut crossways, the fruit reveals a fleshy purple pulp with pointy black seeds that are easily removed.
They are called cocoplum in some regions of Jamaica. Some varieties are slightly round with a firm texture and with colours ranging from streaks of red to pink.
The variety which seems to be more popular and commercially viable is pear-shaped and ranges in colour from deep red to crimson. The flesh ranges in texture from crispy to soft and sponge-like. It has a mild flavour, with many even being referred to as sweet.
Otaheite is refreshing and delicious because of its high water content and its balanced sweetness
Jamaican home of Noel Coward from 1956-1973
Statue of Noel Coward at Firefly, Jamaican home of Noel Coward from 1956-1973
Sculpture of Noel Coward at Firefly, the Jamaican home of Noel Coward, overlooking Port Maria Bay, St Mary, Jamaica This photograph is thought to have been taken by Cole Lesley and shows Noël Coward at ‘Look Out’ in the grounds of his home, Firefly, near Ocho Rios in Jamaica.
Noël built the simple single-bedroomed house on the site of a pirate look out high on a hill above his initial Jamaican home, Blue Harbour. It looks out across the Spanish Main where a statue of Noël sculpted by Angela Connors still surveys the beauty of the Jamaican coast. The sign outside Firefly and the pianos in the lounge when they were still both present.
Firefly is open to the public and has been viewed by many famous visitors and tourists who have taken the trouble to seek out Noël’s last hide away.
Saint Mary Parish, Jamaica
Cannon at Fort Haldane
Fort Haldane was built in 1759 to protect the strategic harbour of Port Maria from Spanish raids. It was also used as a garrison to keep the enslaved and working classes of St. Mary under control.It was named after General George Haldane, then Governor of Jamaica. The fort’s cannons were strategically positioned on a hill facing seaward over Port Maria for protection. Fort Haldane served a pivotal role in the famous Tacky’s rebellion, one of Jamaica’s bloodiest rebellions against slavery in 1760.
Tourism has become an increasingly important source of income for parishners of St. Mary. Some of the most well known resorts in St. Mary include Couples Sans Souci, Couples Tower Isles, Beaches Boscobel, Goldeneye and Golden Clouds. Ian Fleming International Airport provides private jet service for these luxurious properties as well as emergency airlift and general passenger service. Two of the most popular beaches in St. Mary are James Bond Beach and Reggae Beach.
Port Maria is the capital town of the Jamaican parish of Saint Mary.
Originally named “Puerto Santa Maria”,Port Maria, the “Puerto Santa Maria” of the Spanish, was the second town to be established in Jamaica. The town is set in the center of a deep inlet of the northern coastline with a small island just offshore, and the bay is certainly one of the most picturesque in Jamaica. As capital of the parish of St Mary, Port Maria is home to the St Mary Courthouse, an old, elegant building subtly dominating the town’s waterfront.
In 1760, Tacky, the notorious rebel slave, led a revolt against slave owners that lasted over a month before British authorities could suppress the fighting. Centuries later, in a 1938 riot that started in Islington, a small farming community near to Port Maria, four men died as a result of clashes with local police. The spirit of protest lives on, although in recent times not much has been able to incite the people here to mass violence.
In front of the courthouse is a monument to Tacky, a freedom fighter of the 18th century. In 1760 Tacky, an African slave of Coromantee descent, assembled a guerrilla army to attack their British enslavers and seize control of the land.
The revolt started on the nearby Frontier plantation, but spread quickly after Tacky and his followers raided the munitions store in Port Maria.
Tacky’s Revolt was one of the most pivotal slave uprisings in Jamaican history, because, although outnumbered and ill equipped, Tacky’s followers kept the British at bay for more than a month before the rebellion could be subdued. Following the rebellion, many of the slaves that managed to evade the British banded together and fled to the hills to join the Maroons.
It has a population of approximately 7,500 people. Notable buildings include St Mary’s Parish Church, built in 1861, and the St Mary courthouse, a Georgian structure built in 1820 which now houses the Port Maria civic centre.
St Mary’s Parish Church (Port Maria, Jamaica) – the Church was built in 1861 in quintessential English style. Don’t Miss:
The St Mary Parish Church, built in 1861 of limestone blocks on the edge of the bay, is one of the most picturesque structures anywhere on the island. The modest chapel is set against the dazzling turquoise harbor, framed by tall palm trees whose leaves rustle gently in the warm sea breezes.
Salem United Church, Islington St. Mary Jamaica
The picture with the title Salem United Church, Islington St. Mary Jamaica built in the 1800
bonny gate st mary jamaica
The quiet and picturesque Bonny Gate, St Mary.
Clermont House, Highgate, St Mary, Jamaica
THE AUXILIARY TERRITORIAL SERVICE IN JAMAICA, 1944
EMPIRE DAY IN JAMAICA, 24 MAY 1944
The first unit of Jamaican women recruits in the Auxiliary Territorial Service, 1944.
Sonia Thompson from Kingston, Jamaica, who served as an Instrument Repairer in the Women’s army.
The First 12 Jamaican, Air Jamaica pilots: Back row: Frank Laing (right) and Michael Feanny. Second row (from right): Patrick Cousins and Andrew Campbell and Russell Beek and Tony Bowyer. Third row.
PAUL BOGLE NATIONAL HEROE: Morant Bay Rebellion – History Uncovered
Paul Bogle was a Jamaican Baptist deacon and activist; he is a National Hero of Jamaica. He was a leader of the 1865 Morant Bay protesters, who marched for justice and fair treatment for all the people in Jamaica.
Paul Bogle (1822 – 24 October 1865) was a Jamaican Baptist deacon and activist; he is a National Hero of Jamaica. He was a leader of the 1865 Morant Bay protesters, who marched for justice and fair treatment for all the people in Jamaica. After leading the Morant Bay rebellion, Bogle was captured by government troops, tried and convicted by British authorities under martial law, and hanged on 24 October 1865 in the Morant Bay Court House.
Bogle had become a friend of wealthy landowner and fellow Baptist George William Gordon, a mulatto man who served in the Assembly as one of two representatives from St. Thomas-in-the-East parish. Gordon was instrumental in Bogle being appointed deacon of Stony Gut Baptist Church in 1864. Conditions were hard for black peasants, due to social discrimination, flooding and crop failure, and epidemics. The required payment of poll taxes prevented most of them from voting. In August 1865, Gordon criticised the British governor, Edward John Eyre, for sanctioning “everything done by the higher class to the oppression of black people”.
Bogle concentrated on improving the conditions of the poor. As awareness of social injustices and people’s grievances grew, Bogle led a group of small farmers 45 miles to the capital, Spanish Town, hoping to meet with Governor Eyre to discuss their issues, but they were denied an audience.The people of Stony Gut lost confidence and trust in the Government, and Bogle’s supporters grew in number in the parish.
Monument for Paul Bogle
The Statue of Paul Bogle
The statue of Paul Bogle was erected in front of the historic Morant Bay Courthouse as part of the Centenary ceremonies honouring the Morant Bay Rebellion in 1965.
The statue was created by Mrs. Edna Manley for the Ministry of Development and Welfare as a symbolic representation of Paul Bogle, the Native Baptist Deacon who led the march on the Courthouse on October 11, 1865.
Mrs. Manley meant to capture the mood of looking into the future combined with stern resolution in the moment. The statue was cast in clay and moulded in cement fondue. It stood for nearly forty years in front of the Morant Bay Courthouse, where it served as a monument to one of Jamaica’s National Heroes and to the 1865 Morant Bay Rebellion.
JAMAICA SEVEN NATIONAL HEROES
Six heroes and one heroine, they all fought for the same goals. They fought for the poor, equal rights, justice and peace.
What our seven Jamaica national heroes have done may never be duplicated in my lifetime. Today their memories live on for generations to come.
Before & After Reggae: Ska, Ska, Ska
ST JAMES MUSEUM
The Museums of St. James is now known as the National Museum West and is located in the Montego Bay Civic Center, now known as the Montego Bay Cultural Center, located in Sam Sharpe Square, Montego Bay.The Montego Bay Cultural Center was originally built as the Montego Bay Court House which became the Montego Bay Civic Center.
JAMAICAN CUISINE: JAMAICAN FOOD IS RICH IN IRON
Jamaican cuisine is healthy because it is made with many unprocessed foods, uses smaller portions of meats, has a high content of fish, beans, and vegetables, and, most of all, because it is an eclectic mix of the best that African, European, Indian, and Chinese cuisines have to offer. Moreover, Jamaicans have always been aware of the relationship between food and health. Perhaps Jamaican cuisine is healthy due to luck or happenstance. How else can anyone explain why some of the most highly rated medicinal herbs, e.g., ginger, garlic, all spice and hot peppers just happen to be the basic seasonings used in Jamaican cuisine.
JAMAICANS LOVE BREAD FRUIT
breadfruit is eaten as a starch, usually like rice or yam as a side dish to Ackee and Saltfish, Callaloo and the like.
It’s so easy to COOK roast and fry a breadfruit that you really don’t need a recipe: Place it in a 375-degree oven for 1 to 1.5 hours, depending on the size. Then peel it, slice and fry it quickly in cooking oil. Sprinkle with salt and you’re done. It should be crispy on the outside and soft and dense inside. Enjoy!
Jamaica National costumeS
MISS LUISE BENNET
Occupation Poet, Folklorist
Language English, Jamaican Patois
Miss Lou Poems are creative, comedic and cultural. They have always been the highlight of Jamaica’s Folk industry.
When it comes to dialect and taking the Jamaican Patois to the world, Miss Louise Bennett Coverley was perfect for that.
Louise Simone Bennett-Coverley or Miss Lou, OM, OJ, MBE (7 September 1919 – 26 July 2006), was a Jamaican poet, folklorist, writer, and educator. Writing and performing her poems in Jamaican Patois or Creole, she worked to preserve the practice of presenting poetry, folk songs and stories in patois (“nation language”).
Louise Bennett was born on September 7, 1919 on North Street in Kingston, Jamaica. She was the only child of Augustus Cornelius Bennett, the owner of a bakery in Spanish Town, and Kerene Robinson, a dressmaker. After the death of her father in 1926, Bennett was raised primarily by her mother.
She attended elementary school at Ebenezer and Calabar, continuing on to St. Simon’s College and Excelsior College, in Kingston. In 1943 she enrolled at Friends College in Highgate, St Mary where she studied Jamaican folklore. That same year her poetry was first published in the Sunday Gleaner. In 1945 Bennett-Coverly became the first black student to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art after being awarded a scholarship from the British Council.
1975 Jamaica – Red set girls
Vintage Madame Alexander Jamaica Doll
THE ACKEE NATIONAL DISH OF JAMAICA
JAMAICAN LIVING ABROAD REFLECTS ON GOOD TIMES WITH PARENTS IN HER HOMELAND.
There was an ackee tree in our yard that was planted by our mother, and so we had only to walk outside and pick the ripe fruit off the tree. When we go to Jamaica on holiday we would always look forward to harvesting the bright fruit from the ackee tree. We would eat it with boilded flower or cornmeal dumplings and breadfruit boiled roasted or fried. God Bless Mama Lucille Rose.
Lucille’s father Mr Rose fell inlove with her mother Dorris Whight and they got married and had eight children. One of the girls were nicknamed cooly gal because people thought that she was half Indian. Lucille Rose grew up in a large house with her sibbling sisters Casilda Rose,Sissy Rose,Isling Rose, Cooly gal and another sister I forgot her name, and her two brothers Elijah Rose and Verly Rose. lucille grew up with hard working parents. The family had a large farm in ST Mary that flourished. They rare goats,cows,chicken and plant vegetation. This they would sold at the market. My mother Lucille Rose use to accompany my grand parents to the farm,that’s where she picked up her planting skills from.
THE MYSTERIOUS FIRE BURNING UNDER WATER IN ST ANN JAMAICA
Just outside St. Anns Bay you will find the Windsor Mineral Spring (more popularly known as “Fire Water”). It is a little pool of water with a very uncommon condition. The pond holds water which can be ignited! This circumstance is believed to be caused by a high mass of sulphur in the water.
Once you come at the village of Windsor, you’ll be greeted by the residents who will bring you towards a bamboo and canvas shielded hutch. Inside lies the well known “Fire Water”. Your tour-guide will reveal the fire water to you and let you walk through the flaming water.
THE PARISH OF ST MARY
There are a few traces of Taíno/Arawak presence in the parish. Saint Mary was also one of the first sections of the island to be occupied by the Spaniards. Puerto Santa Maria was the second town the Spaniards occupied on the island. In 1655, after the English captured Jamaica from the Spanish, the north coastal town of Santa Maria became known as Port Maria.
One of St. Mary’s most famous early residents was Henry Morgan, who had a home on the hill overlooking Port Maria. The property offered a commanding view of the St. Mary harbour and provided Morgan with a strategic vantage point and featured a secret escape tunnel to Port Maria. Morgan’s home was later purchased by Noël Coward and is located beside Fort Haldane.
The parish has a good variety of agricultural resources. The principal products are bananas, sugar, citrus, pimento, cocoa, coconuts, coffee, vegetables, breadfruit and anatto. Pastoralism is also practised. In recent years, however, agriculture has been on the decline, which may be due to the problems that Jamaican banana export has been facing.
St. Mary’s parish, had once been listed as one of the poorest in Jamaica, but over the past 10 years there have been substantial improvements in the economy due to the influx of investments in infrastructure, including a new international airport (Ian Fleming International Airport), a new highway, and development of luxury resorts such as Goldeneye and Golden Clouds. The new intercoastal highway constructed in 2005 has benefitted the parish and has brought a significant increase to tourism-related activities.
The history of runaway bay in Jamaica ST Mary
Runaway Bay is certainly one of the most scenic areas in Jamaica, Since the early 1960s, when the old Cardiff Hall Estate was converted to a combination of luxury hotels, golf courses and private villas, the town has developed its own character and persona as an elegant yet lively getaway. Over the years, there has been much debate about the name of this small coastal town. Some believe it got the name as the fleeing point of the last batch of Spanish soldiers retreating from English troops under the directive of Governor Ysassi in the 1600s. Others argue that it once was the point of departure of African slaves from inland sugar plantations who ran away to Cuba. Whichever story is true, according to one resident, “nobody nah try (to) ’run way” from Runaway Bay today; in fact, in the hills outside the resort town, many foreigners have run away from their former selves and made Jamaica home.
Much of the beauty of Runaway Bay lies in the fact that while the town itself is not a vibrant bustling centre, it is conveniently located within easy reach of Ocho Rios in the east, Montego Bay in the west and Brown’s Town inland to the south. Also, as well as having some of the most spectacular beaches in the Caribbean, Runaway Bay is endowed with captivating natural features such as the Pear Tree River and the Green Grotto Caves.
Do stop by the Green Grotto Caves, the largest and most accessible caves on the island. The two caves open to the public are the Runaway Cave and the Green Grotto Cave, both estimated to be approximately a half-million years old. Along with stalagmites and stalactites, there is a small and fascinating underground lake in the innermost cavern. The caves belong to a series of interconnected passageways and chambers that spread far beneath the Dry Harbour Mountains to the south. In addition to the caves, some of the best beaches in the Caribbean can be found in Runaway Bay, protected by a large tropical coral reef.
Located on a hill overlooking the bay is the Runaway Bay HEART Hotel and Training Institute. HEART, the Human Employment and Resource Training Trust is a government-run programme that helps young Jamaicans to develop business skills. The Runaway Bay HEART Hotel employs predominantly hospitality industry trainees and, needless to say, since it began operating has maintained a reputation for excellence in service, since trainees are graded on guest satisfaction. Upon leaving the institute, apart from being pleasantly satisfied, guests often feel the warmth and wellbeing of knowing that their patronage has helped a young Jamaican to master essential skills for entry into the working world.