During the London Olympics 2012 Opening Ceremony, there was a sketch featuring the SS Windrush, which brought nearly 500 Jamaican immigrants to Britain in search of a better life. They were invited to come here by the Government in order to alleviate a labour shortage. Sounds odd to our ears these days in the midst of an economic crisis, doesn’t it!
The sketch at the Opening Ceremony didn’t last long, but was very significant, especially as yesterday Jamaica was celebrating 50 years of independence. So congratulations to the Jamaicans for that. I’m sure there were plenty of parties of celebration.
Here are the details from Wikipaedia:
‘On 23 June 1948, the MV Empire Windrush arrived in the UK with,amongst other migrants from the Caribbean, 492 Jamaicans onboard whom had been invited to the country to work. Many more followed as the steady flow of Jamaicans to the UK was maintained due to the continuing labour shortage. Between 1955 and 1968, 191,330 Jamaicans settled in the UK. These first generation migrants created the foundation of a community which is now well in to its third if not fourth generation.
The Caribbean island nation of Jamaica was a British colony between 1655 and 1962, these 300 years of English rule changed the face of the island considerably (having previously been under Spanish rule and populated mainly by the indigenous Arawak and Taino communities.’