Sat | Dec 4, 2021

The extinction of Paul Bogle

Published:Wednesday | February 14, 2018 | 12:00 AM


Today, (Thursday, February 15, 2018) marks the day when the 1 cent, 10 cents and 25 cents will cease to be legal tender in Jamaica. I must say that these coins had already been 'demonetised' from the pockets and wallets of many Jamaicans, having been relegated to mere asphalt decorations, especially outside supermarket doors.

While I will not dwell on my opinions that this action goes further to demonstrate that the value of the Jamaican dollar has weakened considerably over the years, this move has caused one of our heroes to be phased out of our monetary collection.

February 15, 2018 will also be the last day that The Right Excellent Paul Bogle, the St Thomas freedom fighter and hope of the 1865 working class, will cease to be represented on a Jamaican note or coin, classified as legal tender. He will now be the only Jamaican National Hero whose image will not be represented in this way.

I also believe that Paul Bogle has been on the brink of extinction from Jamaica's monetary history ever since the $2 note ceased to be legal tender circa the 1990s. Now that the 10 cent coin has been joined it, Bogle has once again been phased out of Jamaica's currency and probably out of the minds of many Jamaicans who may not have known or remembered that both the 10 cents and $2 note bore his image.

I would now want to find out what will become of Paul Bogle's image, especially within the context of the Jamaican currency. Has there been any provision to place Bogle's image on another Jamaican denomination? If so, would a new denomination be created since all the others are already taken?

While I know that monies and the images that they bare get phased out in all world economies, I find it a real tragedy that this has happened a second time to Paul Bogle, a man who gave his life so that the working class could have spending power. I believe that a Jamaican unit ought to bear Bogle's image, just like all our other heroes and heroine.

The Jamaican dollar is more than just a unit of commerce, it is also a piece of history. I believe that there ought to be a way for this brave Jamaican and son of St Thomas to find a permanent place on the Jamaican currency and in the pockets and wallets of the Jamaican people. Let Paul Bogle's memory not be termed 'forgotten', a title often ascribed to the parish of his birth.

Nardia Grant