The Cayman Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands were once dependencies of Jamaica.
The Cayman Islands
The Cayman Islands became a dependency of Jamaica in 1863. The Islands were administered by a Commissioner, appointed by the Governor of Jamaica.
This relationship between Jamaica and the Cayman Islands continued until 1962 when the Islands decided to remain a British colony once Jamaica became an independent nation on August 6. During a brief visit to the Cayman Islands in January 1962, the Governor of Jamaica, Sir Kenneth Blackburne, returned to Jamaica with the following resolution passed unanimously by the Cayman Islands Legislative Assembly (The Daily Gleaner, Monday, January 22, 1962, pg. 1):
It is the wish of the Cayman Islands:
(1) To continue their present association with Her Majesty’s Goernment in the United Kingdom
(2) To negotiate with Her Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom for internal self-government, taking into account the wishes of the people of the Cayman Islands as to “timing.”
The Turks and Caicos Islands
The Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) became a dependency of Jamaica in 1873. It should be noted, however, that the Islands were first settled by British immigrants from Bermuda during the 1670s. It was their custom to spend only a portion of the year on the Islands to rake salt, and returned to Bermuda when the season was over.
Imperial Act, 36 Vic., chap. 6, and the Order in Council of the 4th of August, 1873, set out the terms and conditions under which the Turks and Caicos Islands were annexed to Jamaica.
Under this arrangement the government was administered by a Commissioner, as Chief Executive Officer, who was also President of the Legislative Board. The Governor of Jamaica had supervising power over the local government and was the medium of communication between the Commissioner in the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Colonial Office in England. The assent of the Governor of Jamaica to the ordinances of the Legislative Board was necessary. Besides this the Legislature of Jamaica also had the power to pass laws applying to the Islands (Handbook of Jamaica 1900, pg. 556-557).
The Turks and Caicos Islands remained a dependency of Jamaica until 1959, when they received their own administration with an Administrator, although the Governor of Jamaica remained the governor of the islands. However, this changed completely when Jamaica was granted independence from Britain on August 6, 1962. In a meeting with then Jamaican Governor, Sir Kenneth Blackburne, members of the Turks and Caicos Islands Legislative Assembly “re-affirmed their desire to remain under British administration as a colony after Jamaica’s Independence” (The Sunday Gleaner, May 27, 1962, pg. 1).
Under CARICOM’s regional response system, organised by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), Jamaica is the Sub-Regional Focal Point (SRFP) for the North-West Caribbean group of member states, specifically the Turks and Caicos Islands, Bahamas, Belize and Haiti. The SRFP is a key element of the CARICOM regional response system designed to provide for quick and immediate support actions in reponse to disaster situations in CDEMA participating States within the sub-regions (CDEMA).
Until next time…
Handbook of Jamaica for 1900
The Daily Gleaner, Monday, January 22, 1962, pg. 1
The Sunday Gleaner, May 27, 1962, pg. 1