Kingston, 10 October 2023 (JIS) - A proclamation has been issued that beginning this year, October 11 will be observed annually as Paul Bogle Day.
The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, made the announcement in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (October 10) while providing an update on activities scheduled for Heritage Week.
The week is being observed from Sunday, October 8 to National Heroes Day, Monday, October 16.
Minister Grange said the proclamation was issued by Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Honourable Sir Patrick Allen, in response to her request.
On October 11, 1865, Paul Bogle sparked the Morant Bay Rebellion, which saw him leading a march from Stony Gut to Morant Bay in protest of the conditions of the people of St. Thomas and Jamaica in general.
This, after enduring the arduous 45-mile journey from Stony Gut to Spanish Town to seek audience with the then Governor who refused to see him.
“I am pleased to be able to proclaim Paul Bogle Day, even as some of the dreams of Paul Bogle for better working and liveable conditions of the people of St. Thomas are coming to pass,” Minister Grange said.
“The story is told that the Jamaica House of Assembly passed a resolution in 1865 to punish the people of St. Thomas for their action, determined that the parish would see very little development. Madam Speaker, the Government has broken that curse.
“Very soon, the people of St. Thomas will have greater access to the commercial centre of our country by way of a new highway. This will no doubt enhance the quality of life for the people of St. Thomas going forward. Tomorrow, we will celebrate them and the entire Jamaica by the proclamation of Paul Bogle Day,” she continued.
The Minister also thanked Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Andrew Holness, for leading efforts to see the development of the Morant Bay Courthouse into a modern museum. The Courthouse was first destroyed by fire in the 1865 war.
Support for the proclamation of Paul Bogle Day was voiced by various Members of the House, including Prime Minister Holness; Opposition Leader, Mark Golding; and Member of Parliament for St. Thomas Eastern, Dr. Michelle Charles.