Busts erected to honour nation’s heroes, heroine
Jamaica's heritage and culture has influenced the nation over several eras. Chief among the cultural highlights are the national heroes and heroine who fought for equal rights, justice and peace and paved the way for the nation's future. In a most deserving tribute in honour of the memory of these stalwarts and for generations to come to understand the importance of their significant contributions, the Rotary Club of Kingston officially unveiled the busts of the country's six heroes and one heroine at Emancipation Park in New Kingston on Monday.
Whenever anyone mentions any of Jamaica's national heroes, there is always a sense of pride and joy.
According to Michael Buckle, president of the Rotary Club of Kingston, the project, dubbed 'Nation Builders: Jamaica's Journey to Freedom', will see the busts erected on a historical corridor in chronological sequence at the entrance to the park.
The busts, he said, will highlight the heroes and heroine's contribution to Jamaica's journey to freedom and will be showcased to educate, inform and inspire local and overseas visitors.
"We want to make more Jamaicans aware of their history and the significant contributions of our nation builders and their quest to emancipate our people," Buckle said.
"Even though we may never achieve some of the things that these heroes have accomplished, they continue to inspire us to make positive contributions as they were also inspirational leaders when everyone lacked vision and hope."
He added, "These busts will serve as a permanent reminder of the ultimate sacrifice of our forefathers, as they have paved the way for a greater appreciation of ourselves, our community and our country."
The Order of National Hero is given to individuals for acts that few would even think of doing, and acts only the heroes planned and executed. Not all their actions were successful but all their actions positively affected Jamaicans and non-Jamaicans.
The 'Nation Builders: Jamaica's Journey to Freedom' project
The 'Nation Builders: Jamaica's Journey to Freedom' Project has been endorsed by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport and has been incorporated as an official legacy project for Jamaican 55 celebrations.
Delroy Williams, Kingston's mayor, in his quest to make Kingston the cultural capital of the Caribbean, has also endorsed the project.
The National Housing Trust (NHT) has agreed to partner with the Rotary Club of Kingston to ensure that the placement and materials of the busts are in harmony with the existing infrastructure and will seamlessly blend into the current environment at Emancipation Park.
Symbol of freedom
Emancipation Park was created to be a symbol of the country's freedom and a significant milestone in the journey of Jamaica.
Each bust is sponsored by companies and organisations operating in or with a vested interest in Jamaica.
- Nanny of the Maroons is sponsored by Mayberry Investments Limited
- Sam Sharpe is sponsored by National Commercial Bank
- George William Gordon is sponsored by Scotiabank Jamaica
- Paul Bogle is sponsored by the Tourism Enhancement Fund
- Marcus Garvey is sponsored by Advanced Integrated Systems
- Sir Alexander Bustamante is sponsored by Stewart's Auto Group
- Norman Manley is sponsored by Downsound Records.
Other sponsors include Yello Media Group, with additional support from the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission .
Internationally recognised and acclaimed Jamaican sculpture Basil Watson produced the busts, which were commissioned in July 2017.