Courting research help for Bolivar Centre
THE EDITOR, Sir:
We refer to the lead story on the front page of your
publication of Monday, September 7, 2015 in which reference was drawn to premises at 33 Princess Street, downtown Kingston, where SimÛn BolÌvar stayed while exiled in Jamaica from May to December 1815.
We would like to advise the public that the agencies of culture do recognise the historical significance of SimÛn BolÌvar's presence in Jamaica in 1815. The premises at 33 Princess Street housed a hotel, where BolÌvar stayed during his seven months in Jamaica; however, the original building no longer exists.
It was recognised as a site of historic significance by the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation when a plaque was affixed to the building in 1952. The occasion was the founding of the Bolivarian Society of Jamaica. There appears to be no remnant of the plaque today.
The Jamaica National Heritage Trust had made attempts to purchase the building, which is privately owned, to make it a historical site. There are ongoing efforts to research any material that can show what the original building looked like so that an appropriate storyboard can be erected near the site.
Any assistance from members of the public to unearth any material for our research would be appreciated. Once the research has been completed and the necessary permits received, we will once again acknowledge that it was BolÌvar's dwelling in Jamaica and accord the premises the historical significance it deserves.
We hope that members of the downtown community and the public in general will visit the nearby SimÛn BolÌvar Cultural Centre so that they can learn more about this remarkable man and his contribution to the historical development of Latin America and the Caribbean.
ANNE MARIE BONNER
Institute of Jamaica