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28 October 2014
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Jamaica 40th anniversary mini banner
Coventry came alive for 40 years of Jamaican Independence

Coventry West Indian Club party poster
Coventry West Indian Club party poster
Coventry celebrated the 40th Anniversary of Jamaica's Independence and the city's 40th anniversary of its twinning with Kingston.

Jamaican Independence Index
BBC coverage on radio and TV for Jamaican Independence Day
BBC History - World War One and the West Indies
BBC Education - Windrush
BBC - Music - A quick guide to Reggae
BBC News - Queen speaks to Jamaican Parliament
BBC World Service - Rhythms of the Continent


BBC event and programme information.

Friday 2 August,
BBC WM/BBC Coventry website.


Between 7pm - 9pm. Live party with special guests, and live web chat.

Saturday 3 August, 11.15pm, BBC TWO.

The Harder They Come.


Charismatic Reggae musician Jimmy Cliff stars in this Jamaican film classic, a journey through music, crime, corruption and myth-making in 1970s Kingston. The score, put together by Cliff, Slickers and Desmond Dekker, is a string of hits which helped put Reggae on the map outside Jamaica.

Saturday 3 August, 10:15pm, BBC TWO.

I love Jamaica.


From cricket to jerk chicken, the Reggae Boyz to Grace Jones, and taking in territory as diverse as lilt adverts, Harry Belafonte and Battie Riders on the way, I Love Jamaica gives the A to Z to Jamaica and celebrates the very best cultural exports from the island in the sun.


Sunday, 4th August, BBC TWO.

A three-part series, The Story Of Jamaican Music. An in-depth, revealing look at the musical genre from the Sixties to the present day.

Sunday, 4th August BBC TWO.

In Blood And Fire, Theologian and historian, Dr Robert Beckford presents a history of Jamaica's struggle for independence and political autonomy.



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Coventry celebrated the 40th Anniversary of Jamaica's Independence and the city's 40th anniversary of its twinning with Kingston.

The official anniversary is on Tuesday 6 August but the main celebrations took place at the Coventry West Indian Association Centre on Saturday 3 August and at the Coventry Cathedral with a special service on Sunday 4 August.

Coventry and Warwickshire have already seen some Caribbean flavour this summer. The annual Coventry Caribbean Festival at the War Memorial Park on Saturday 27 July was a roaring success.

 
See the images from the special service at Coventry Cathedral
 
Click the images button to see the images from the service at the Cathedral on Sunday

images button

 
BBC party with live webchat
 
 Doing the limbo at the BBC party
A limbo dancer at the party
On Friday 2 August we co-hosted a party with our neighbour site BBC Birmingham and with BBC WM.

Follow the Jamaican Index link on the left to see the gallery of pictures from the party and to read about our first-ever live web chat with Aswad.

As well as joining us via the website, people were also able also to hear the party on BBC WM on 95.6FM.

 
Coventry celebrates in style
 
On Saturday 3 August the Coventry West Indian Association held a special night to celebrate Jamaican music from 1962-2002.

This night at the West Indian Centre featured DJ's Mikey D, Jacko Melody and Dave Barrett.

In addition, the party had Caribbean food, giveaways and a Jamaican dance competition.

 Coventry Cathedral steps
Coventry Cathedral, where the service will take place
On Sunday 4 August three hundred people celebrated in style with a thanksgiving church service which was at 2pm at Coventry Cathedral.

The service was attended by the Jamaican deputy high commissioner, Mr. Audley Rodriques.

The service was then continued at the Coventry West Indian Association, whose association has been a key organiser of the event in the city.


 
The deputy high commissioner
 
 The Kingston skyline
The Kingston skyline
The Jamaican deputy high commissioner to the UK, Mr Audley Rodriques, will be visiting Coventry and will join in the celebration at the Cathedral on 4 August.

He will be representing the high commission, who promote, support and represent Jamaican interests.

In his independence day message on his website, the Jamaican High Commissioner, His Excellency The Hon. David Muirhead, said: "As an independent nation, there is much of which Jamaicans can be proud.

"Our island continues to be regarded worldwide as one of the most beautiful places on earth.

"Our multi-cultural mosaic is a fine example of people from different backgrounds living in harmony with each other and is a true reflection of our national motto, 'Out of many, one people'.

"I believe that Jamaicans have learned well from the past and I am sure that our achievements will fortify us to approach the future with sound plans great hope and immense confidence."

To read the message in full, follow the link on the left to the The Jamaican High Commission's site.

 
Jamaican Independence
 
 The Kingston skyline at night
The Kingston skyline at night
Back in August 1962 Jamaica emerged as an independent country and immediately built on its bonds with Britain, which reach back over 300 years.

At the time of independence there was already a substantial population of Jamaicans in Britain.

This emigration started with young Jamaicans who had fought in WW II and could find no work on their return to Jamaica after the war. Many decided to return to England to look for employment.

 
Coventry's twinning with Kingston
 
Coventry was twinned with Kingston in 1962, in Jamaica's Independence year.

To mark the independence, Coventry City Council asked the local West Indian community to nominate a place the city would twin with. They chose Kingston.


 
Local West Indian clubs
 
There are two West Indian clubs in our area, one in Coventry and one in Rugby. Their details are below.

Coventry West Indian Club
Community Centre
Spon St
Coventry
CV1 3BB

Tel: 024 7655 2929

The centre runs courses in activities like dancing, computing and guitar playing, and is a music club with DMC the last Friday of each month and one-off gigs throughout the year.

The Rugby West Indian Social Club
St Peters Road
Rugby
Warwickshire
CV21 3QP

Tel: 01788 542895

For full details of the BBC's special output around the 40th anniversary of Jamaican Independence on Radio 2, BBC Two and BBC Four follow the link on the left.


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