Mon | May 21, 2018

Boys' Town aim to establish museum

Published:Tuesday | January 16, 2018 | 12:00 AMStephanie Lyew/Gleaner Writer
Junior Lincoln, president of the Boys’ Town.
Trevor Spence, CEO of Boys’ Town.
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Members of Boys' Town have long been convinced that Trench Town and surrounding communities are in need of a library and museum dedicated to its history.

The long wait is nearly over. Well, so says Junior Lincoln, president of the Boys' Town Old Boys Association. He said that the Hugh Sherlock Centre will be the site of the museum.

"This place you are sitting in is holy ground; it is actually beginning of Jamaica's music. A lot of old songs were created; even before Bob Marley came in the 1960s this was already happening," Lincoln said.

The museum will be called the Trench Town Community Museum. Currently, the road signs in the area provide information on the names of musicians that were either born in or impacted the community from 2nd Street to 9th Street.

Financial support has been sourced for the project to start, though development is constantly taking place at Boys' Town. The exterior is being renovated and a statue of Collie Smith, sculpted by Kay Sullivan through funding provided by the Chase Fund, is to be unveiled at the main entrance in March of this year.

Smith is Boys' Town's best known cricketer. The West Indies hard-hitting batsman and off spin bowler lost his life in a tragic crash in 1959.

 

TELLING A STORY

 

An old piano from the 1950s sits in the corner of the Centre, which Lincoln says "tells a story". It will be one of the items on view at the museum. Other memorabilia are being sought through musicians as well as footballers and cricketers to complete the exhibit.

"The piano is just for feature, but it was the only one of its kind in the area and musicians like Alton Ellis, Jimmy Tucker, and so many others used to 'bang-bang' on it to create what became beautiful music," Lincoln said.

"It is not just a physical building. More importantly, it is a spiritual space, so that's why some of the people who wrote songs here, despite not knowing how to read and write, turned out life-changing music," he continued.

Trevor Spence, CEO of Boys' Town, said that the museum will share history from not only music and sports development, for which the community is best known, but Trench Town's contribution to the Rastafarian movement.

There will be a scheduled day out of the week for schools and residents of the community to have access to the museum free of cost.

"People are not going to believe what the place is going to look like when the museum project is complete," he said.