Morant Bay to become Heritage Town

June 29, 2017
File A cyclist rides past the old court house in Morant Bay, where Sam Sharpe's statue once stood.
File The canons behind the old Morant Bay court house.
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Member of Parliament for Eastern St Thomas, Fenton Ferguson, said Morant Bay has the foundation to become a great heritage town after the Government announced that the abandoned Goodyear factory will become a new Morant Bay town centre.

It was also announced that the current town will be transformed into a heritage town.

"I think it's a positive thing but we want to see the details of that because it is important for commerce, for businesses that exist in the town now. I am sure that some will not be moving to the Goodyear complex," Ferguson explained.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Andrew Holness said the new town centre will be constructed on the 25-acre lot which previously housed the Goodyear tyre factory which has been closed for more than 20 years.

 

Support commerce

 

"We want to know that the old court house and the Paul Bogle statue, which could be attractions, will be replaced. Then both locals and tourists will be visiting the sites which will help to continue to support commerce and the activities in the township," Ferguson told THE STAR.

Curatorial assistant at the National Museum of Jamaica, Ayanna Gordon, told THE STAR that if the facts which surround the Morant Bay Rebellion are presented properly, they could cause tourists to flood the town.

"Based on what I have read, 1865, the year of the rebellion, marked a significant year in our history because it catapulted so many changes that came after," Gordon explained. "It is important in terms of how the police (Force) was introduced and it opened many discussions on police-civilian relationship. It also opened a discussion on hanging especially with the hanging of (George William) Gordon."

According to Gordon, the Bath Botanical Garden and the Blue and John Crow Mountains, which are heritage sites, could also be used as part of a heritage showcase of the town. She said excursions to these sites with a learnt tour guide on the cultural significance of these spots could leave tourists and local satisfied.

 

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