First Memories About Jamaica

by Arthur Guy Taylor

I first arrived in Jamaica intransit from Southhampton to British Honduras (now Belize) in 1955 as a young lad aboard the SS Camito.

The Camito was the last of the Elders and Fyffe's banana boats. She was about 8400 tons 448 ft long, had 96 first class passengers and 96 members of crew!

The passage was marked by a severe case of sunburn that put me in the ships clinic in a delirious state.

I was accompanied by my Mother and three brothers. We were joining my Dad who had just been posted to British Honduras as Police Commissioner after several years in Malaya.

We spent the night at the Myrtle Bank Hotel before catching the BWIA Vickers Viking prop plane to BH.

One of my earliest subsequent memories of Jamaica was of being at the old Kingston Airport, again enroute from England to BH in late 1959, and witnessing the arrival of the coffin bearing the body of Jamaican batsman and spin bowler O'Neil Gordon 'Collie' Smith.

He had died in a car accident in England.

There was a huge crowd of mourners at the airport which at that time was a tiny one storey galvanized roof building!

It was a very somber episode!

Comments for First Memories About Jamaica

Click here to add your own comments

Good Times
by: George Mccaffery

Hi Barrie,

I Joined the Chicanoa in North Shields in 1968, my first trip as Radio Officer.

I then done two trips on the Golfito Jan and Feb 1969. Great trips great ships.

My Time as 4th Engineer on SS CAMITO
by: Barrie Griffiths

Some of best times of my life from 1963-1968.

Also sailed on:
SS GOLFITO - her sister ship
C Boats SS Changuinola, SS Chicanoa
T Boats SS Telde, SS Turrialba

The C class were 28 day round trip voyages to the West Indies.
The T Boats sailed to the east and west coast of North America and Central America, and went through the Panama Canal.

We carried general cargo westward and bananas back to UK and the continent.

Happy days.

Collie Smith
by: Chris

Remember Collie Smith very well. Saw him play at the Oval.

He was normally a very aggressive batsman. He never held back.

But the West Indies had collapsed, and he played a most untypical game to partner Gary Sobers and save the match.

Thanks for your memories.


Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Memories of Jamaica.