JIS News

Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller, has described the late Hon. Louise Bennett Coverley (Miss Lou), as a preeminent Jamaican cultural ambassador who “represented Jamaica’s finest traditions.”
Lauding Miss Lou’s contribution to the Jamaican image, the Prime Minister said, “her artistic output was a mirror revealing to us an authentic Jamaican self with all its strengths and contradictions. She never downplayed the cantankerous side of Jamaicans, nor did she sugar coat the difficult experiences.
Through her poems, stories, songs theatre, craft, social commentary, community building activities and continuous research, she helped us to discover, develop and define our culture.”
Mrs. Simpson Miller was delivering her tribute to the late Jamaican actress, writer and folklorist, at her official funeral service held yesterday (Aug. 9) at the Coke Methodist Church downtown Kingston.
Speaking of Miss Lou’s sharp wit and keen play on words, Mrs. Simpson Miller said “she did it with a fine sense of mischief, but never with malice,” noting the irony that on the occasion of her passing, words were inadequate to pay tribute to her.
Likening Miss Lou to a tonic, the Prime Minister noted that her constant “emphasis on our folklore instilled unequivocal pride to many Jamaicans spanning generations and strengthened our will to achieve in the most trying times. “Miss Lou reminded us of longstanding strengths such as our tradition of creativity in times of adversity,” she added.
She pointed out further that despite Miss Lou’s ‘Jamaicanness’, she had international appeal, which transcended geographical barriers. The Prime Minister implored Jamaicans to complete the word Miss Lou started with the same spirit with which she lived.Meanwhile, Leader of the Opposition, Bruce Golding heralded Miss Lou’s as a “woman for all seasons” and said that her contribution to Jamaica would live on for generations.
Mr. Golding stressed that, “despite our efforts to emphasize the physical aspects of our memory, that she had left an indelible monument in our hearts, would be enough”.
Professor, the Hon. Rex Nettleford, who delivered the eulogy, praised Miss Lou’s “lexical legacy and tenacious thrust to represent Jamaica’s indigenous language form, patios”.
Dubbing her as the poet, “who spoke the truth about a society in their own language”, Prof. Nettleford said, “it is for such release of our creativity, which the tenacious, religious and deeply spiritual Miss Lou fought so valiantly throughout her lifetime”.

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