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!