Thu | Sep 21, 2017

Bolt statue for airport roundabout

Published:Wednesday | February 10, 2016 | 2:01 AM


I agree with most of the

points put forward in H. Dale Anderson's letter in The Gleaner on February 4, 2016 ('Rethink that Bolt statue'), about a statue for Bolt. Although the appropriate time to launch a serious consideration might be after Bolt's retirement, Anderson has persuaded me that it would not be unseemly to consider aspects of what must be seen as an important national

venture. My concern, here, is only with the location of the statue.

Anderson's dismissal of Falmouth Pier is entirely warranted, and I would put it in even stronger terms. There is no single merit for the consideration of Falmouth Pier.

Nor do I think that Sherwood Content qualifies for consideration of what is to be a national monument. If the local community desires to erect a statue to Bolt's memory, it should be locally supported, and an appropriately scaled structure built.

Significant achievers in other countries have more than one monument to their memory. Isaac Newton has a national monument located in Westminster Abbey, but there is also another (local one) in the chapel of Trinity College, Cambridge, where he studied and taught.

The natural location for a Bolt statue that most people would opt for is the National Stadium, and if we follow the examples we have of Newton, such a statue of Bolt in the symbolic arena of his achievements would match Newton's at Trinity College, the arena of his accomplishments.

If we agree that Bolt is an icon representing more than his athletic prowess, my suggestion, therefore, is that the roundabout to Norman Manley International Airport might gain some consideration. In this location, the statue could not be seen as a mere tourist attraction. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Jamaicans pass this location every week, and they would be reminded as they leave the island of a symbol of excellence comparable to any they might see abroad.