Thu | Jul 19, 2018

1907 earthquake memorial park open

Published:Sunday | January 17, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Marvette Scott doing final preparations to the memorial park built in Greenwich Town, St. Andrew, in honour of those who perished in the 1907 earthquake.
A resident looks at a house on Harbour Street, in downtown Kingston which was detroyed by the 1907 earthquake.

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has urged Jamaicans to be always prepared for natural disasters.

Simpson Miller made the plea at the official opening of the memorial park built in Greenwich Town, St Andrew, in honour of those who perished in the 1907 earthquake.

"May it forever remind us that no matter our social and economic status, we are all one people. This is a fact usually made clear by the effects of natural disasters which do not discriminate in its impact," said Simpson Miller, who laid a wreath in honour of the 500 unidentified persons who perished in the earthquake.

The memorial park, built at a cost of $15 million, included restoration of the monument and creation of a small park around the structure, construction of an access road to the site, and erection of perimeter fencing and appropriate signage.

It is located in an area called Little Eight Street and is Jamaica's newest heritage tourist attraction.

Chairman of the Earthquake Monument Restoration Committee and chief executive officer of the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education Fund, W. Billy Heaven, said the multiphase project will see the installation of 501 mini headstones, a wall of verified names, public facilities, as well as shops for the sale of memorabilia.

"Some parts are still a work in progress but as it is now, it is looking good," said Heaven as he added that a maintenance agreement will be finalised for the care and upkeep of the park.