Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment, and Sport, Olivia Grange, says the construction of a museum to honor and remember Jamaica’s first National Hero, the Right Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey, will be completed during the country’s 60th year of independence.
Minister Grange was speaking at a civic ceremony hosted by the St. Ann Municipal Corporation, marking the 135th anniversary of Garvey’s birth and his 58th year as a National Hero, held on Wednesday, August 17, at Lawrence Park in St. Ann’s Bay.
She shared that the facility, which was conceptualized in 2011 for Jamaica 50 and re-engineered during Jamaica 55, is being erected at 32 Marcus Garvey Way in St. Ann’s Bay, St. Ann, where Garvey spent his formative years.
Ms. Grange said the establishment of the museum would protect Garvey’s legacy, noting that it would capture all aspects of his life.
“The museum will be a place where every child and adult of Jamaican heritage, local and foreign-based, will be able to enter physically and virtually to proudly do research, to know the great man Garvey was, and leave more conscious of their ancestral pedigree and heritage,” she said.
Minister Grange also stated that the space will be reminiscent of Garvey’s emphasis on cultural enterprise and achievements as well as “one that constantly reminds us of our capacity for greatness – every one of us.”
Dr. Julius Garvey, the national hero’s son, urged Jamaicans to look to his father and other heroes who helped the country achieve independence “for an understanding of the way in which we should go” to achieve greatness.
“Marcus Garvey has set us an example in terms of his ideals but also in terms of his organizational ability, his confidence in self, and his ability to triumph over obstacles,” Dr. Garvey said.
Minister Grange shared that three houses (two of which have already been completed) are being built on the Seville Heritage Park property in St. Ann to house the family who currently resides in the house where the museum is being established.
The two-bedroom units, which were built under the New Social Housing Program (NSHP), will soon be handed over by Prime Minister Andrew Holness, according to Minister Grange.