Jimmy Cliff Avenue still happening - MoBay mayor

December 19, 2017
Reggae icon Jimmy Cliff (left) receives the Key to the city of Montego Bay from mayor Homer Davis earlier this year.
A section of the Montego Bay Hip Strip

The St James Municipal Corporation says that the plan to rename Gloucester Avenue (the Montego Bay Hip Strip) the Jimmy Cliff Avenue, in honour of the reggae icon James 'Jimmy Cliff' Chambers, is well on track.

According to Montego Bay's mayor, Councillor Homer Davis, the honour is more than deserving, as in terms of impact, the veteran singer/actor/social activist is right up there with Sam Sharpe, a revered son of the parish, whose stance against slavery earned him national hero status.

"Jimmy Cliff is a two-time Grammy winner, he is an icon out of the parish of St James, and I would say outside of Sam Sharpe, he is the next name that has garnered the greatest global impact," said Davis.

"A resolution has already been sent off to the Ministry of Local Government for it to be sent to Cabinet, but I was assured that it will be done in short order," Davis told the Western Star earlier this week.

In seeking to put Jimmy Cliff's international appeal into context, Davis explained that there can be no downside in naming Gloucester Avenue in his honour.

He said because he is known globally, many visitors to the island will readily identify with his name, which is etched among some of the greatest musicians of all time in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

"While he is primarily known in the field of music, we cannot forget his lead role in the iconic film The Harder They Come, which also featured a classic reggae soundtrack album of the same name," said Davis. "We must seek to amplify and put our great achievers out there in the public sphere, because it is important that we recognise our people when they are alive, not when they are dead."

On Independence Day in August of this year, the reggae entertainer was honoured twice when he was first given the key to the city of Montego Bay before again being honoured for his contributions to reggae music at the Jamaica 55 Grand Gala held at the National Stadium in Kingston.

- O.H.

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