JIS News

Eight years after the idea came to him to pen a book that profiled historic Jamaican locales, David Buckley has realised the fulfilment of his dream with the production of, ‘The Right to be Proud: A Brief Guide to Jamaican Heritage Sites’.
Beaming with pride, the first-time author presented a copy of the book to Governor General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Howard Cooke, during a call today (December 6) at King’s House, at which Sir Howard praised Mr. Buckley for his literary endeavour that celebrates Jamaican culture and artefacts.
Sir Howard further lauded the author on hearing of his ambitious plan of getting the book into the hands of no fewer than 100,000 children to expose them to their country’s rich history. Speaking with JIS News, Mr. Buckley expressed his pleasure of seeing a dream he had almost 10 years earlier, finally come to fruition.
“That was 1997, and I wrote it down on paper. I did the projected costs, the sales and everything.and I went to every single funding agency I could think of and everybody loved it,” he recalled.
However, despite several agencies embracing his concept for the book, funding was not forthcoming from any of them until he approached the Culture, Health, Arts Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund in December 2004, and they signed off their approval for the book in March of this year.
“After that, I spent six months of 16-hour days in libraries, and at home. I worked like a dog but I got it.I got these great people to work along with the designers, the mapmakers, the photographers and it turned out fantastic,” Mr. Buckley told JIS News.
He pointed out that he completed the book two months ahead of the deadline, but came in one per cent over the $1.5 million budget.
As for the book’s contents, he explained that the sites featured are based on the official list of heritage sites as held or described by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT).
Some 96 sites are spotlighted in the full-colour, glossy page book that profiles places of historical interest in all 14 parishes across the island. Among the expansive listed and photographed sites are great houses, such as the Greenwood Great in St. James that dates back to the 18th Century; the Anglican Parish Church in Trelawny, built in 1795; the Lovers’ Leap Lighthouse in St. Elizabeth; and the de Montevin Lodge in Portland that was constructed around 1900. The author said that of the 300 places classified as heritage sites by the Heritage Trust, he whittled that number down to the 96 places featured in his book based on his determination of their importance, interest, and their accessibility.
Given that the book might inspire curious persons to actually visit the places shown, he noted that “I didn’t want to send anybody into bushes to look at a pile of stones.With those things in mind, I was able to select about 96, so [as a result of] constraints of size and cost, I got the book to about 60 pages”.
Mr. Buckley, who previously worked in the sales and marketing field before embarking on his newfound budding literary career, told JIS News that already the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has ordered 200 copies of the book, which will be sent to their 190 global field offices.
Offering an estimation that there are about half a million children in Jamaica in the 9 to 13 age group, which he said is the ideal target group for the book, as it can foster a sense of national pride, Mr. Buckley stressed that they could benefit from reading it, and he would like to get the book in the hands of at least 100,000 of them.
“It is very important that the children understand their history, where they are coming from, and why they have a right to be proud of this country,” the author said.
Under the arrangement with the CHASE Fund, Mr. Buckley said the contract stipulated that 2,000 copies of the book be produced for the Tourism Project Development Company (TPDCo), following which the copyright reverts to him to produce and sell the book on his own.

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