JIS News

A call has been made for a chair to be established at the University of the West Indies (UWI) to facilitate research on Jamaica's first National Hero, the Rt. Excellent Marcus Garvey.

President of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce, Keith Smith, who made the appeal as he addressed the opening of the annual Marcus Garvey Fair on Sunday (February 20) at Liberty Hall in Resource, Manchester, expressed confidence that the initiative would receive local and international support.

"The University of the West Indies …if they don't do it, I am throwing it out to the many other universities … our distinguished scholars, supported by the private sector, supported by the international community, can establish such a chair for research," he stated.

He said that the move would be a "most distinguished honour" for Marcus Garvey, and would also be beneficial to all Jamaicans.

"Society stands to benefit from those principles that Garvey stood for, because, in terms of the fertilisation of the mind, it is that exercise that will lead to the betterment of all of us. So, I call on the private sector to say this is an opportunity to put your money where your mouth is, and proceed to assist with establishing that chair," he added.

Councillor for the Grove Town Division, Icilda Brown, in her remarks, urged Jamaicans to take pride in their heritage.  "We must be proud of ourselves. Marcus Garvey wanted us to be confident, and have confidence in ourselves; he stood for justice," she stated.

In the meantime, hundreds of Jamaicans and visitors to the island attended the fair, which got underway at about 8:00 a.m. and featured sports and entertainment for the entire family and exhibits from agencies and organisations such as the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), Jamaica Stock Exchange, banks and credit unions.

The Marcus Garvey Fair is an annual event of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) in collaboration with the Manchester Chamber of Commerce.

The event pays tribute to the National Hero, who established a Liberty Hall in Resource in 1923, and also raises funds to support community projects and programmes.

The proceeds from this year's event will go towards the development of the Resource Basic School. Earnings from the 2009 fair were used to build a post office for the community and in 2010, support was provided for the upgrading of toilets at the basic school.