Kingston, 2 September 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has officially launched Miss Lou 100 — commemorating the centenary of “the mother of Jamaican culture,” the Honourable Louise Bennett Coverley.
Speaking at a Service of Honour and Praise at Coke Memorial Methodist Church in Downtown, Kingston on Sunday, Minister Grange said:
“Miss Lou devoted her life to restore and redeem the language of the mass of the people. Amid great criticism from the well-to-do who now ruled the society, Miss Lou almost single-handedly brought confidence and respect to our Jamaican Language.”
Minister Grange said it was fitting to begin the celebrations at Coke Memorial Methodist Church, where Louise Bennett, at the age of 17, made her first public appearance, reciting a Jamaican dialect poem she had written.
Minister Grange thanked the church for its role in nurturing and showcasing Miss Lou’s talent and urged all churches across the island to participate in the celebration of Miss Lou 100.
Minister Grange said:
“Today, we begin our hundred days celebration of legacy. In this celebration, I am appealing to the church and to our seniors to bring knowledge of Miss Lou and her achievements to our children and young people. It is a part of the heritage transfer expected of the people of God, that we should find ways to ensure that generations to come and those still unborn are brought to knowledge of their culture and heritage by those of us who know the stories of our past. When we fail to do so, our society crumbles into disrepair because of ignorance. It is the responsibility of the older generations to transfer the knowledge of our past to later generations. In all this, the church must play a role.”
Miss Lou 100 is being celebrated over the course of 100 days starting from September 1, 2019.
The celebrations will include the official renaming of Gordon Town Square to Miss Lou Square by Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Andrew Holness, on Sunday, 8 September 2019.