JIS News

MONTEGO BAY — Cabinet has approved the compulsory acquisition of 32 Market Street, in St. Ann's Bay, St. Ann, the birthplace of the first National Hero, the Right Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey.

Executive Director at the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT), Laleta Davis-Mattis made the announcement on August 17, at Lawrence Park, in St. Ann’s Bay, where a celebration was held to commemorate the 124th anniversary of the birth of Mr. Garvey.

Mrs. Davis-Mattis said the JNHT and the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture are working assiduously to rehabilitate the birthplace of the National Hero.

“One of the issues that has debilitated our activities in the last couple of years is the fact that the place is occupied and the ownership has always been an issue. But the Government has taken the life of Marcus Garvey and the influence of Marcus Garvey on our lives so seriously, that it has approved the compulsory acquisition of 32 Market Street,” Mrs. Davis-Mattis told the scores of persons who attended the ceremony.

She said the process of acquisition is in train and the office of the Commissioner of Lands has started its work.

“The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, through Minister Olivia Grange, in association with the Minister of State with responsibility for Local Government, Hon. Shahine Robinson are now seeking to relocate the residents there, with a view to having the place ready for ground breaking in October, 2011,” Mrs. Davis-Mattis informed.

Other plans for Garvey’s birthplace, she said, should see to the landscaping of the property and the erection of a memorial wall.

Meanwhile, Acting Permanent Secretary and Principal Director for Culture in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Sydney Bartley, said Marcus Garvey had indeed influenced the lives of the Jamaican people.

“Our responsibility, if we want to pay tribute and homage to Marcus Garvey, is to carry on his project in our daily lives and in our communities. More than speaking the words to glorify Marcus Garvey, is to carry out actions that emulate and continue the very project he stood for, which is the advancement of the welfare of the people who are disadvantaged and vulnerable in our society,” Mr. Bartley said.

He urged Jamaicans to look to each other and share in each other’s work and worth, “as we continue to strive for the betterment of African people here and abroad."

The civic ceremony was hosted by the Civic Affairs and Community Relations Committee of the St. Ann Parish Council, under the theme: ‘Marcus Garvey: Cultural Activist’.