Fri | Sep 21, 2018

Rename Lady Musgrave Road

Published:Saturday | February 7, 2015 | 12:00 AM


This is an open letter to the chairman of the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation and the residents of Lady Musgrave Road.

Today I cry and lament that in the year of our Lord 2015, and after more than half a century after we gained the right to direct our affairs, something as egregious as the name of the 'Lady Musgrave Road' still continues to add insult to injury.

There is no time like the present, and in February, which is celebrated in North America as Black History Month. I think the time is now for the situation to be corrected. I propose the new name for the roadway and seek in this month to gain signatures required to have the road named in honour of George Stiebel.

George Stiebel was as responsible for the creation of the road as was the wife of the former governor who requested its construction. When George returned from Venezuela and purchased 99 properties in order not to break the law that prohibited a black man from owning 100 properties, the property now known as Devon House was made into his home.

Racist Motivation

The grandeur of the place caused the then governor's wife to refuse to traverse the regular route, as the house of a black man that outshone King's House, the home of the governor, was on the way. This prompted the creation of the road, and hence its name.

George Stiebel should be recognised for his contribution to Jamaica and not only the causation of the road. The fact that the road is in the parish for which he was custos is also a great motivation for him to be recognised in this manner.

Among the many boards Stiebel sat on was the Board of Education in the pre-Independence era. To top it all, he can be considered one of the fathers of tourism in Jamaica. The Great Exhibition of 1891, which was the forerunner of tourism in Jamaica, was funded partially by a loan from Stiebel. The monarch, in recognition of the work of Stiebel in Jamaica, bestowed on him the honour of Companion of the Most Distinguished Order.

The George Stiebel Boulevard would be not only be a facelift; it would lift the hearts of many Jamaicans.


Old Harbour, St Catherine