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Moore Town excited about World Heritage site prospects

Published:Tuesday | November 3, 2015 | 12:48 PM

MOORE TOWN, Portland:

With drums beating, coupled with the blowing of the abeng and traditional dancing, the launch of the Blue and John Crow Mountains as a World Heritage site at Moore Town, Portland, was deemed a success.

Held last Friday in the Maroon community of Moore Town in the upper Rio Grande Valley, the launch attracted a number of dignitaries. However, probably the only disappointment at the function was the non-appearance of Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, who was confirmed as guest speaker.

It was left to Minister of Youth and Culture Lisa Hanna to tender an apology on behalf of the prime minister.

The function, which took place under humid conditions, was a special one for Wallace Sterling, colonel of the Moore Town Maroons, who revealed his moment of triumph by speaking in Maroon tongue, while thanking the powers that be for the impeding transformation.

"Today is the day that we come alive," said Wallace.

"Our ancestral heritage is being unfolded and the spin-offs for the ordinary people will be rewarding. The fight for freedom was always a rich part of our history and, today, the Maroon community will reap the benefits.

"Throughout the hills and valleys of the varied trails extending to the Blue and John Crow Mountains will be rediscovered for all to see, and preservation of our forests, its plants, and animals will be protected," Wallace added.

Moore Town is home to the Windward Maroons and serves as a part of Jamaica's history. The Maroons, who were led by the country's lone heroine Nanny, fought the British army in many fierce battles using skill, craft, and tactics to defeat the world's most powerful army over several decades.

Hanna unveiled a plaque at Moore Town signifying the official launch of the Blue and John Crow Mountains as a World Heritage site.

In her speech, she paid tribute to Nanny and other ancestors who fought for the freedom which we all enjoy today. She highlighted the significance of Jamaica's culture at its origin from ancestral history.

The Blue and John Crow Mountains World Heritage Site, inscribed on

July 3, 2015, tells the story of a unique place where the rugged landscape, lush forest, springs, and cascading waterfalls provided all the escaped Africans needed to a new culture and to successfully defend their territory through guerrilla warfare under the leadership of their female warrior queen and spiritual leader, Queen Nanny.