The soon-to-be released souvenir coffee table photo album titled, ‘Our Golden Jubilee: Snapshots of Post-Independent Jamaica 1962 – 2012’, published by the Jamaica Information Service (JIS), is being hailed as a celebration of pride in the life of the nation.
Executive producer of the project, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the JIS, Donna-Marie Rowe, explained that the publication is an invaluable collector’s item to commemorate Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of Independence.
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“It is a collection of meticulously selected photographs drawn largely from our archives, complete with captions chronicling the iconic moments in our history for each year. That was quite a feat. We also included excerpts from speeches and other quotations to add another dimension,” she pointed out.
Acclaimed photographer, Howard Moo Young, generously contributed images to the work, as did the National Dance Theatre Company (NDTC), the Little Theatre Movement, as well as Dorothy Whyte, whose late father was a Garveyite.
“This souvenir will be a limited edition publication and with each passing year will attract value, not only in the material sense, but for its tremendous sentimental, aesthetic and patriotic value,” Mrs. Rowe explained.
The hard-cover, glossy page publication, handsomely designed by the JIS, will be launched in July.
It features rare images of the nation’s founding fathers, seminal moments of triumphs and challenges in the birth of the nation and the leaders who guided the country through the past five decades.
Guardian Life Limited, a member of the Guardian Holdings Group, is the main sponsor of the publication. President, Eric Hosin said the company is pleased to join hands with Jamaicans and the JIS to commemorate and celebrate the 50th year of the country’s independence.
Veteran journalist, talk show host and playwright, Barbara Gloudon, who endorsed the publication and wrote the foreword, said it is a well-needed publication.
“It’s important to have this kind of record in a society which throws away things from our past and so this book for me is a delight, because it recreates some important moments from the past,” she said.
Citing the excellent quality of the photographs, Mrs. Gloudon points out the difference between amateur and professional photography, stating that everyone has a camera these days and people have become accustomed to the social networks, “but the real pictures are taken by the photographers who have the sensitivity to wait for some of the great moments and this is what this book represents."
Meanwhile, Mr. Moo Young described the publication as “a true gem and a collector’s item."
“Every Jamaican will want to have one. It should be in every library and every school,” he said, noting that, “it is a classy publication."
JIS Chief Photographer emeritus, Errol Harvey, whose work is featured in the publication, also shared his reflections. “To read a report of a sporting event and to witness it are two entirely different experiences. Hence the privilege of being at ringside to capture events of yesteryear and current affairs carries with it a special joy and satisfaction which, hopefully, readers will appreciate,” he said.
The book is one of several projects being undertaken by the JIS to mark Jamaica’s Golden Jubilee. Other projects include a commemorative webpage hosted on the agency’s award-winning website; a travelling photo exhibition scheduled to begin this month (June); a JIS Jamaica 50 newspaper supplement, as well as radio and television features showcasing the nation’s history.
The JIS is an official partner of Jamaica 50, and the publication will be available in July 2012.