It is a year of historical milestone for the country particularly when it comes to anniversary, starting from the Queen’s 70th year on throne of England. She ascended the throne in 1952 and it was a big celebration in The Gambia as some chiefs and notable people attended the ceremony in 1952.
In 1962, the UP came to power – approximately 60 years ago after the party defeated P.S. Njie in the general election of that year; and few days before that the Radio Gambia was established as the first permanent broadcasting service for The Gambia. The establishment was in May 1962, marking 60 years of Radio Gambia’s existence now.
However, 10 years earlier before the establishment of the Radio Gambia, The Gambia Football Association – now The Gambia Football Federation (GFF) was founded in 1952 and it was the first recognised Football Association and coming to 1972, The Gambia had a first Presidential election. Thus, the elections before 1972 were not presidential because “The Gambia has not become a Republic nation, so in 1972, the late former President Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara contested against the UP candidate, Mr. Percy Coker .
More so, it was also in 1982 that the Senegambia Confederation was established now 40 years ago. In that year, whilst late President Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara was conducting election campaign for the 1982 election his helicopter which he was travelling crashed near Brikama Ba. In this helicopter crash, The Gambia’s former Vice President Mr. A.B. Njie died, it is another historical milestone.
Back to 1972, the Gambia Ports Authority was established, marking 50 years of its existence this year, while in 1992, the last elections of the First Republic were held and two years later, there was army coup which the PPP government, after 32 years in power, was removed from power.
Commenting on this historical milestone for The Gambia, historian Hassoum Ceesay said “all these years are landmark events.”
Ceesay states the importance of celebrating the milestone which he has started working with some of the institutions is “to highlight these important milestones. It is important to celebrate this milestone because they offer the opportunity to go down history lane and see how some of our institutions that still exist, for example, The Gambia Football Federation; Gambia Ports Authority; Radio Gambia to know how they started, their histories and faring.”
He said knowing these can really help them to look forward to the future and device new plans and strategies to continue their success stories.