Why stop at a statue?
The Editor, Sir:
I note with great curiosity the level of passion which has been displayed by the residents of Morant Bay, St Thomas, with regards to the refurbishing and planned re-erection of a statue, said to be a replica of one of our national heroes, Paul Bogle.
Inasmuch as I am somewhat heartened by the forthright manner in which the residents of that history-rich parish, and its confines, have ardently repudiated the reinstitution of what they consider an 'imposter' rather than a more honest repre-sentation of their legendary native, I am still at a loss, however, as to how we determine priorities as a people and as a country.
Why is the heart of this protest taking such a singular tone - one which only speaks to the presentation of a likeness and its ability to truly represent the real individual? Why is it that we only seem to want to preserve legacies in the forms of portraits or statues? One would have hoped that the people of St Thomas, and indeed the wider Jamaica, would instead be remonstrating the insufficient attention dedicated to the beliefs, values and sacrifices of our martyred heroes. One would have hoped that as a people we would be remonstrating the fact that the lives of our national heroes have not been fully incorporated into our education system and, I dare say, our daily lives.
The intentions of the residents are noble but the question persists: How many of these residents have truly internalised Paul Bogle's values? After all. "the legacy of heroes is the inheritance of a great example".
I am, etc,
NOEL FORBES MATHERSON