Garnet Silk lives on - Former home could be community tourism project
The short career of popular Jamaican reggae singer Garnet Silk ended when he died in a fire in 1994 at his home in Hatfield, Manchester.
Relatives of the reggae singer built another house on the land, but it still holds the remains of his former residence which has been an attraction for tourists.
Member of Parliament of North West Manchester, Mikael Phillips, told The STAR that the location could be the next community tourism project.
Two years ago, the people of Manchester welcomed the Maidstone Museum, and Phillips said that this is a continuation of the efforts to highlight the attractions in the parish.
"There isn't a tourism product in central Jamaica, excluding the southern side in St Elizabeth that has Alligator Pond and Jake's Treasure Beach, apart from Roxborough [a former estate and birthplace of Norman Washington Manley], which may not be widely used or promoted. So we have been using the churches or the historical findings to create the products," Phillips said.
Seeing that Silk's former home is already an attraction, the MP is hoping to make it official, and to call it the Garnet Silk Culture Yard.
"I think he would have been a megastar if he had lived longer. He caught the
attention with an imagination that shows that you can sing conscious, clean music that impacts a lot of persons," he said.
For this reason, Phillips plans to commit the funds that he says MPs usually receive to execute a community-based tourism project to the cultural yard.
It would feature various storyboards on the reggae singer's life and work.
According to Phillips, a mausoleum containing Silk's ashes was once on
the property, but was removed due to problems with vandalism.
Although the details of the project are not clear, it is expected that once everything has been finalised with Silk's family, it will be part of a bigger project that includes the establishment of a museum in Kingston dedicated to the singer.
"Discussions will continue with the family as there are many I's to dot and T's to cross, but, for certain, we are working with them for it to become a reality. I gave them my word on that one," he said.
He explained that the bigger project would be part of a tour package that will create job opportunities for members of the community to become trained as tour guides.
There will also be the promotion of Airbnb bed and breakfast locations.