Hi everyone, we’ve got a big celebration coming up, August the 6th, which is the 60th anniversary of the birth of Jamaica being independent from the UK. It’s obviously special because it’s 60 years on from the beginning in 1962. In honour of this Independence Day, we wanted to reflect on this significant time of year, from the perspective of the Island Delight director: Wade Lyn.
What does Independence Day mean to you?
It’s when we went from being a colony to having our own legislative system in Jamaica. Mr Bustamante was instrumental in asking the British government. There was great celebration in Jamaica at the time and every year we celebrate our independence from the British Government. But we still do have some ties with the British Government like the Privy Council.
Have you been involved in any event or activity relating to Jamaican Independence Day?
Yes, we have a flag raising on the 6th of August outside Birmingham Council House with invited guests. So, at around about 9:30 on the 6th of August, we have the flag raised outside the Council House and we will play our anthem.
How does it feel to successfully run a Jamaican branding company in the UK?
I feel very enlightened that I’m running a successful branded company. We’ve been in existence for 33 years now. We display the Jamaican flag on the product because Jamaican patties are a staple food of Jamaica.
Does the company do anything special to celebrate Jamaica Independence Day?
Well, we don’t bring out a special Independence Day pattie at the moment. We did way back to celebrate the 55th anniversary. We made a pattie that was 20 inches in diameter but we haven’t done anything this particular year.
Outside of the company, we’ve got a service of remembrance taking place at Bethel Convention Centre in Birmingham. We’ve got a flag raising ceremony on the Saturday morning Church service at around about 11:30am and in the evening we’ve got a dinner being put on by the Doctor Beverly Lindsay at Eastside.
So has Jamaica independence influenced you in any way, and if so, how?
Obviously I was a small child when independence took place, I was only an infant at the time, but most people who may be 12 or 13 at the time can remember the great celebration that took place in Kingston, the capital of Jamaica.
For me it’s one of the days in the Jamaican calendar that I try and celebrate. In Jamaica, for instance, it’s a public holiday over there. It’s a Saturday so they’ll probably get the Monday off.
What does the Jamaican flag mean to you?
Obviously, each country has its own flag. Now that flag represents a lot to each country, so it could class as the birth of a nation. The Jamaica flag is made-up of yellow- representing the sand and possibly the sun; green- representing of the land of Jamaica; and black- signifying strength. Those are the critical things.
Is there a sort of more obscure or meaningful reason as to why the Jamaican flag features on every single product you do?
I think it’s to show how proud we are to have a Jamaican brand in the UK, but to educate the British public that this product has a Jamaican heritage; it’s a Jamaican pattie.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
And now I think we should highlight the branding of Jamaica across the food brand, not just us that puts the Jamaican flag but other companies do. The goal is to make the patties a staple food here in the UK.
If you enjoyed reading this blog, you may want to read some previous ones:
– Black History Month | Interviewing Island Delight Key Figures Part 1: Wade Lyn
– Black History Month | Interviewing Key Figures Part 2: Cleo Lyn