An unacceptable statue of Bogle
The Editor, Sir:
I am glad to see that some people in St Thomas have at last found the courage to publicly draw attention to the inadequacy of the statue of Paul Bogle in front of the old courthouse as an acceptable portrayal of the national hero. I've never had the nerve to do so, largely out of respect for Edna Manley who sculpted it.
As pointed out, Bogle was a deacon in the Baptist Church, owner of about 500 acres, and one of the few St Thomas residents who could vote in 1865. There were and about 104 or 106 voters: Bogle was a highly respected community leader. Many persons in the parish looked to him for leadership in a time of great injustice, oppression and neglect.
The half-naked, wild-eyed man in the rumpled old trousers sends the wrong message. The statue should be retired to the national gallery and a new one commissioned. And please don't drag the festering corpse of politics into this. In this day and age when the youth of our country are seduced into the questionable deejay whirlpool, let us give them a heroic, self-sacrificing, authentic alternative.
Paul Bogle didn't prey on his less fortunate fellow Jamaicans to fatten himself. He gave his life, and died without flinching. Newspaper reporters of the time who described him said he was about 5 feet 10. George William Gordon, his colleague, was 6 feet and a half inch.
I am, etc.,