Maroons Gear up for Annual Celebrations


On Thursday, January 6, all roads will lead to the historic town of Accompong in St. Elizabeth for the annual Maroon festival.
The event, which will be held on the birthday of Maroon war hero, Captain Cudjoe, marks the 267th anniversary of the signing of the Maroon peace treaty.
It was in 1738 that the maroons of St. Elizabeth, led by Cudjoe, signed a peace treaty with the then governor, which guaranteed them among other things, significant land holdings as well as personal freedom.
The historic treaty contains the founding principles that to this very day, govern the day-to-day activities of the people of Accompong. Many social as well as other political institutions such as the very powerful Executive Maroon Council, derive their just powers from this important document.
Colonel of the Accompong Maroon, Sidney Peddie, speaking at a recent press conference to launch the annual event, noted that this year’s celebrations would be one with a difference.
He said that the event, would serve to officially launch the Accompong Maroon Foundation, which will have as its primary focus, long-term sustainable development of our area.
“The foundation will, as part of the mandate, implement and secure funding both locally and overseas for projects, which will help us to preserve our natural environment, historical sites and landmarks, develop the economic base of the village, promote the cultural transfer of our heritage to members of the younger generation as well as expand certain key institutions that are distinctly maroon,” he said.
“I believe that with the proper infrastructure in place”, he noted, “Accompong will become the most sought after tourist destination in the entire West Indies”.
Turning to development plans for the next five years, Colonel Peddie said, “I intend to continue to seek help to further improve our roads, telecommunications and water supply system.”
He also informed, that he had actively forged partnership with various groups and individuals to help in the realisation of these goals. “Many improvements that had taken place in the maroon village in recent years thanks to the partnership that exists with the Government of Jamaica’s Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo.), Jamaica Tourist Board, Jamaica Information Service, Jamaica Cultural Development Commission, Social Development Commission, Canadian International Development Agency and American Peace Corps,” he informed.
Colonel Peddie encouraged Jamaicans far and wide to bring out their families for the annual Maroon celebrations, as there would be entertainment for everyone including children.
“Proceeds from this year activity will go towards the refurbishing of our Town Hall, Museum and Community Centre, which were seriously damaged by the passage of Hurricane Ivan,” he stated.

JIS Social