Grange: Garvey museum can now move ahead

The Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Andrew Holness, comforts Carla Johnson, the beneficiary of a new home under the New Social Housing Programme.  Miss Johnson was overcome with emotion after receiving the keys to her house from the Prime Minister.  Looking on is her sister, Jacinth Johnson, who also received the keys to a new house from Mr Holness.  The sisters are being relocated from 32 Marcus Garvey Way where the government will construct a Memorial Park and Museum in tribute to Jamaica's first National Hero, the Right Excellent Marcus Garvey. The Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Andrew Holness, comforts Carla Johnson, the beneficiary of a new home under the New Social Housing Programme. Miss Johnson was overcome with emotion after receiving the keys to her house from the Prime Minister. Looking on is her sister, Jacinth Johnson, who also received the keys to a new house from Mr Holness. The sisters are being relocated from 32 Marcus Garvey Way where the government will construct a Memorial Park and Museum in tribute to Jamaica's first National Hero, the Right Excellent Marcus Garvey. MCGES/Orane Chandon

Kingston, 20 December 2022 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has said that the way is now clear for the government to move ahead with constructing the living history museum in tribute to the National Hero, the Right Excellent Marcus Garvey, at his boyhood home in St Ann’s Bay, St Ann.

Minister Grange made the announcement on Monday (yesterday) when the Johnson sisters — Jacinth and Carla who occupied the National Hero’s boyhood home at 32 Marcus Garvey Way — were presented with their new homes in Seville Heights.

The Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Andrew Holness, gave the sisters the keys to two new houses that were built under the New Social Housing Programme.

The relocation of the sisters is in keeping with the commitment given by Minister Grange in 2018 when she announced that the government had executed compulsory acquisition of the Garvey boyhood home property. Minister Grange had said that the government would not move the women off the property without making arrangements for them to live in a comfortable way.

At the handing over of the houses to the Johnson sisters, Minister Grange said she was delighted that “years of negotiation and decision-making, of going back and forth as we sought the right solutions, have come now to a good place where we can all give thanks for the progress made so far.”

Minister Grange praised the Johnson sisters for their cooperation. She said the sisters’ decision to relocate means that the government “can now begin the process of creating a state of the art, world class Memorial Park and Museum representative of the global posture of our revered National Hero.”

The former Prime Minister, Mr Bruce Golding, broke ground for the construction of the living history museum in tribute to Marcus Garvey in 2011, but the project was stalled as the government negotiated with the occupants of the property.

The Culture Minister said she looked forward to the development at the place where Garvey lived as a child.

Minister Grange said:
“We must never forget the meaning and purpose of the activities that we as a government have embarked upon. Our mission is to ensure that generations now and yet to be will be rooted and grounded in the life, teaching and philosophies of Garvey as part of the process to entrench their cultural identity and commitment to the sustainable prosperity of all our people.”

The Jamaica National Heritage Trust — an agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport — will lead the development of the Marcus Garvey Memorial Park and Museum.

END

Minister's charge

I remain hopeful because of the giftedness of the Jamaican people; their warmth and creativity; their dynamism and indomitable spirit that have resulted in excellence in all sectors.

It is by tapping into the gifts and awakening the spirit of the Jamaican people that we will, by God’s grace, re-group, re-engineer and re-open to a brighter future with Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport.

Olivia Grange

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