Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller has expressed profound sadness at the passing of cultural visionary, social anthropologist and founder of the Jamaican Folk Singers, Dr. the Hon Olive Lewin, OJ, CD.
The Prime Minister said the passing of Olive Lewin, a pioneer musicologist, leaves a great void in the pursuit and preservation of Jamaica’s traditional music and cultural art form. Jamaica has lost an invaluable cultural icon.
For more than six decades Olive Lewin remained at the forefront of the process of researching, performing and teaching traditional Jamaican folk music and theatre. Always engaged in the search for knowledge and committed to keeping Jamaica’s traditional music form alive, Dr. Lewin spearheaded the Jamaica Memory Bank Project in the 1980s, undertaking the task of recording, transcribing and preserving traditional stories for the benefit of future generations.
The Prime Minister described Dr. Lewin as a fine Jamaican lady in every sense of the word who exhibited consummate humility and gentility with a great heart for service. It was those very qualities which saw her bringing into our schools, correctional and mental institutions the power of music and Jamaica’s rich cultural tradition in soothing the soul and lifting the spirits of our people.
Dr. Lewin led a truly exemplary life and we honour and salute the outstanding contribution of this most beloved Jamaican Patriot and Sister, who not only distinguished herself locally but across the region and internationally.
The Prime Minister expressed condolences to Dr. Lewin’s daughter Major Joanna Lewin, and the family on behalf of the Government and people of Jamaica.
Contact: Communications Unit-OPM