ESCAPADE NO 2 – JDF SILVER
We have one of the world’s historical collections of silver here so… Some of you will be familiar with this collection and some of you know Christie’s and Southeby’s realm of antiquaria…well we have a sterling silver collection worthy of it…items are individually deemed to be worth hundreds of thousands of pounds and collectively are priceless because they are national heritage…
There is a serious significance to this collection on 3 levels
1) Our military history marks us as one of 2 nations of the Empire, whole or as in our case, part, which forced Britain to the negotiation table ….India and Jamaica via the Maroons.
2) This silver is exquisitely wrought stuff dating back to the 18oo’s at least – last and only time I saw it was when it was displayed as a special exhibit of the BBC Road Show at Devon House
3) I can’t remember for sure but I think there were a few pieces of extra special significance…i.e the items wrought by the worshipful guild of Jamaican silversmiths…again we were one of maybe 3 nations in the realm granted our own guild of smiths…. complete with the crocodile head as its stamp
Anyway the JDF military museum is open Wed to Sun 10 – 4 price 150 adults and 50 for kids
Capt Anglin in charge 920 0186
Well the JDF silver was ‘fanastic’ as expected but they’ve not got it all under one roof yet…some in Chief of Staff’s yard, some at the regiments, etc. so we saw ‘the some’ that’s in the museum. They have their first curator now though and she’s working on it, Capt Dehaney and her ops man is Capt Anglin…run off his feet, he is…
BUT the real eye opener for me was more proof we are in the very slow process of really becoming a nation albeit we have a reputation already centuries long the half of which we don’t even know:
1) Our First Military Family, The Beeks, goes back 5 generations!!!! The old man married a nice African lady when he served with the Brits there. They still serve today…one was my Pop’s boss in the air wing
2) There was a WW II flying squadron nicknamed the ‘Jamaica Squad’ because it was nearly all Yardies!
3) One Mrs. Alexander, a most interesting woman, who met me at Camp proceeded to instruct me and the Capt assigned as our guide in what we never knew…we still have a ‘Knight of (the awful) Battle of Arnhem’ WWII living among us, got stabbed in his neck to make sure he was dead ….and lived….
4) We’ve won nough Victoria Crosses …2 … very rarely awarded for ‘valour beyond belief’ (my version of the citation :)) Grandpa told me it is the custom to salute such awardees when you pass them in the street.
5) Much as UWI has always known it and named the women’s hall after Seacole, I was thrilled to see the JDF acknowledge her as one of the earliest female battle nurses (before Florence and Florence adopted her methods and wouldn’t hire her). There’s now a cute little museum park and herbal garden in her honour…really cute…they need farming advice to get it really into gear.
6) The Montego Bay Kerr Jarretts get their status and are descended from the David Kerr who was a top dude in the British Forces here, there’s a funny looking statue of him.
7) There is a library and internet cafe for the public!!!!
GO JDF.!!!!!..How comes it has to be attached to war before all ranks of society get taught and accept teaching on self reliance, making do, discipline, pride, skills training, efficient and practical esthetics..etc etc…?