Garvey Resource Centre opens in St Ann
Observer North & East
ST ANN’S BAY, St Ann — Residents and visitors to St Ann now have an opportunity to learn more about the work and philosophies of the country’s first National Hero Marcus Mosiah Garvey.
This, thanks to the just opened Marcus Garvey Resource Centre which has been equipped with a permanent exhibition, informational resources and memorabilia of the late native of the parish.
The opening of the centre, located at the St Ann Parish Library, formed part of the activities to mark Marcus Garvey Day last Friday, the 125th anniversary of his birth.
Director General of the Jamaica Library Service, Patricia Roberts said the facility was established to honour the life and work of Garvey and will from time to time present activities such as lectures and performances.
"The main objective of the centre is to preserve the heritage of Marcus Garvey, to encourage the study and exploration of Garvey's contribution to Jamaica and people of African descent across the Diaspora," she said at Friday’s civic ceremony.
"We want to awaken and increase community understanding on the relevance of Garvey's teaching in modern Jamaica, we want to also develop an additional area for cultural heritage tourism," she added.
Roberts explained that the establishment of the centre was part of a major expansion and renovation project being undertaken at the library through financial assistance from the CHASE Fund.
Several organisations and individuals, including one of Garvey's sons Dr Julius Garvey, contributed to the setting up of the facility. The others included the St Ann Homecoming and Heritage Foundation, the Marcus Garvey Foundation in Philadelphia, USA and the St Ann Improvement Committee.
Custos of St Ann, Radcliffe Walters, who has been instrumental in the process of establishing the centre, on Friday called on visitors to the facility to use the information they will find as an avenue of empowering themselves.
Meanwhile, Member of Parliament for north east St Ann, Shahine Robinson while making her contribution to the observance of the hero's birthday, said she would continue representation for the restoration of Garvey's childhood home.
"Ground was broken there and it is my intention to carry out my aggressive representation to make sure that the restoration of that house becomes a reality," Robinson said.
Former Prime Minister Bruce Golding broke ground for the restoration of the house, located at Market Street, last October. However, work is yet to commence on the project.
During Friday's celebration, mayor of St Ann's Bay and chairman of the St Ann Parish Council, Desmond Gilmore, announced that the council would provide a scholarship to honour the late hero.
The Marcus Garvey Scholarship for Excellence, Gilmore said, would be awarded to a student enrolling at Marcus Garvey High School and would be maintained over a five-year period, on condition that the recipient performed at an acceptable standard.
Gilmore announced that Janae Coombs, who has the highest Grade Six Achievement Test average among the group of students placed at the school, was the first recipient.
Eight students had applied for the scholarship valued at $50,000 each year.
He said the council intends to expand the programme in coming years so that more students could benefit.