Kingston, 17 August 2018 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has announced that the Government of Jamaica has executed compulsory acquisition of the boyhood home of National Hero, the Right Excellent Marcus Garvey in St Ann’s Bay.
In her address at the annual UNIA Marcus Garvey Awards this (Friday) evening — on the 131st anniversary of the National Hero’s birth — Minister Grange said the Commissioner of Lands has been given ministerial direction to take possession of the property.
Minister Grange said this development “clears the way for the establishment of the proposed living history museum in honour of the National Hero.”
The property, located at 32 Market Street in St Ann, has long been earmarked as the site for the Garvey Museum. The former Prime Minister, Mr Bruce Golding, broke ground for the construction of the museum in 2011. However, construction has been delayed as the Government negotiated with the occupants (now owners) of the property and has been assisting them to find alternative accommodations.
Minister Grange said it was time to get on with the project:
“For many years, we have been talking among each other, researching current ownership and announcing every year our intention to take over that home and convert it into a museum and centre for reflection on the works of our Hero. We have talked for a long time. We have negotiated for a long time. Now it’s time for action. We have acted through the governance process of compulsory acquisition to take over that location and start the work to convert it into the haven it must be in the Garden Parish of St. Ann.”
Minister Grange says that in keeping with the commitment given by the former Prime Minister to assist the occupants to find alternative accommodations, the Government will be taking action to relocate them to property that has been identified.
“I have been working closely with the Member of Parliament and the Housing Agency of Jamaica to finalise the relocation. We are showing goodwill and I anticipate full co-operation as we move ahead with establishing this important national monument,” said Minister Grange.
The technical designs have been completed and funding sourced for the construction of the museum. Minister Grange has instructed the Jamaica National Heritage Trust — which is leading the development of the museum — to “move swiftly to take possession of the property, acquire all outstanding approvals and to begin construction before the end of the year.”