Stony Gut gets new Paul Bogle - Hero's great, great grandson bemoans state of community
Only a stone's throw away from the centre of Stony Gut in St Thomas lies a small board structure neatly accentuated by bamboo that is the home to 52-year-old Paul Bogle, the supposed offspring of one of Jamaica's national heroes.
Like his namesake, the man who is said to be to the hero's great, great grandson, he was born in the small community, a place where the historical Morant Bay Rebellion began.
Bogle spoke of his love and connection to the community, passing it off as one of the most peaceful places to live.
However, he believes that his hometown does not bare testament to the selfless contributions of his relative, as the community and parish as a whole have been met with blatant disregard.
"We have been treated very badly. Is like we are not part of Jamaica as far as I see. And for a man who fight a rebellion and struggled that we can earn an income of our own, he's totally neglected as a national hero, and the place is thrown one side like it's a swamp. Nobody looks at Spring Garden (the wider community of which Stony Gut is part). It's like a dead town," he said.
Stony Gut was declared a heritage site, and houses the Paul Bogle Memorial Gardens, but the disgruntled resident believes that more should be done in the area.
"The roads in the community not bad, but we don't have any business places up here. We hardly even have any street light. Most people who live here don't even have an income. There are no jobs, and though the people are nice because of the lack of assistance, they aren't really progressive. They are more on the primitive side. They need real help," he said, adding that there are those who have maximised on the fruitfulness of the land and sell their produce.
It was a declared injustice that caused his great, great grandfather to plan and execute a rebellion, and Bogle said that he is not afraid to walk in his footsteps and fight for what he wants.
However, Bogle's willingness to rebel against the Government is thwarted by the absence of a key component, the support of his community.
According to Bogle: "There is a lack of organisation in the community and parish, and no man is an island. If we aren't properly organised, then nothing can come of it. It's very hard to get the support of the community members because they are more politically motivated as they depend on the politicians to get a little work, like the cleaning of the roadside, so whatsoever party is in power will get their support because they will always want a likkle work."