Jamaica readies for Bond creator Ian Fleming’s centenary

April 8th, 2008 - 10:23 am ICT by admin  

Kingston, April 8 (IANS) Here’s something to warm the cockles of James Bond fans’ hearts: the Jamaican government is set to launch a series of programmes to commemorate the death centenary of 007 creator Ian Fleming and provide insights into the life of the phenomenon and his creator. The events begin May 28. “Some of the events would be executed in Jamaica under the auspices of the Jamaican government while others will be organized and staged in Britain and elsewhere by the Fleming family and the British government,” the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) that is promoting the event said in a statement.

Fleming first visited Jamaica as a British intelligence officer. Far from the maddening crowd, he found solace on the island and made it his home and penned down the 14 prominent James Bond thrillers that went on to become an epic series.

For the record, 21 official Bond movies have been made, the stories for the other seven being penned by other authors and a 22nd film on the way.

Major parts of three Bond movies - “Dr. No”, “Live and Let Die” and “The Man with the Golden Gun” - have been set in Jamaica

“Would these books have been born if I hadn’t been living in the gorgeous vacuum of a Jamaican holiday? I doubt it,” Fleming has been famously quoted as saying.

Located in Oracabessa, 20 minutes from Ocho Rios, “Goldeneye”, the house that Fleming designed himself, is nestled amongst the tropical forests and lush gardens on a seaside bluff overlooking the Caribbean.

“Jamaica gave Fleming the balance of privacy and serenity to draw on his own experiences, his fascination for military gadgets, sharp wit and his dry arrogance to create the 20th century’s most successful action hero,” the JTB statement said.

In 1952, Fleming sat down in “Goldeneye” and wrote “Casino Royale” to introduce James Bond to the world.

“For Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming and James Bond”, an exhibition at the Imperial War Museum in London, will see a recreation of Fleming’s study at Goldeneye being mounted.

Fleming died of heart failure on Aug 12, 1964 after having just completed his first children’s story about a car that flew - “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” and having seen Sean Connery play James Bond in only the first two of the Bond films.

“The third largest island in the Caribbean, Jamaica has enough geographic and cultural diversity to rival most island chains. Whether you’re looking for thrilling cliff dives or laid-back island life, it’s all here. You just need to know which part of the island to visit,” JTB said in its statement.

JTB, founded in 1955, is Jamaica’s national tourism agency based in the capital city of Kingston. It was declared the Caribbean’s leading tourist and convention bureau by the World Travel Awards (WTA) for 2006.

Jamaica has earned the WTA’s vote as the world’s leading cruise destination, the Caribbean’s leading destination and the Caribbean’s leading cruise destination.

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