Our 60th year of independence! The country rallied around and celebrated our Diamond jubilee, a tell-tale of our perseverance as a people. We bonded even more around stories of our past, the remnants of our history, and reminisced on those who contributed to our lives as we know it today.

Our Product Development and Community tourism (PDCT) team has been tremendous in their efforts to keep history and heritage alive. These past two months, the team implemented projects that will help to bolster heritage tourism and will of course engender Jamaican pride.

We gave you the account of Westmoreland Storyboard Installation in last month’s blog, and its potential to help us as Jamaicans keep our voices and tell our stories. We ventured into Black River St Elizabeth to celebrate this space brimming with history and tales of the past through “Black River Day” a kaleidoscope of food, music, dance, folklore and more.  We were happy to support this venture which brought Jamaicans from home and abroad together. 

On August 12 the Team ventured to the Hanover Parish Library in Lucea where another exciting project was unveiled. This time, it was a life-sized statue of Jamaica’s first Prime Minister and National Hero, The Rt. Excellent Sir Alexander Bustamante. Sculpted by Scheed Cole of Sculptural Elements & Construction 001 Limited with resin based materials and other recycled materials it is a must see with it’s “real-life” appearance.  Details of this national hero and activist are now available on two storyboards for visitors and locals to peruse. It is truly inspiring to learn about Sir Alexander’s work, and his personal life and to visualize how it might’ve been during those times. Your imagination really comes alive!

There is so much more to discover. This country and the people have also been instrumental in the development of our tourism product. Our past and the fusion of many cultures (out of many one people) have allowed us to maintain competitive edge, and to appeal to many different people across the world. It is necessary to pay homage to those who have shaped us into who we are now. The rights we can now exercise, our unique and bold cuisine, our language, music, and even our creative skills are influenced by those who came before us.

So even as the independence celebrations recede, let us continue to sing with our chests high “Eternal Father bless our land.” and let us put shoulders to the wheel as a resilient, strong and free nation, forging ahead to many more decades of greatness.