Home - The Star
January 17, 2013
Star Features


 

NO LONGER 'THE WICKED CITY'
Andre Williams, STAR Writer



Activities in Port Royal.


Oberlin High School students enjoy a tour of Port Royal.


Russian tourists in Port Royal.


Visitors having lunch in Port Royal.


Andre Murphy (left) and Sheldon Clarke scraping fish in Port Royal. - Ian Allen photos

It took THE STAR roughly 35 minutes from Kingston to Port Royal, the city known to be the only sunken city in the Western Hemisphere and has been nicknamed the 'The Sunken City'.

Many are aware of the city's rich history, however, THE STAR ventured to modern Port Royal to have a first-hand look and observation at the community in this day and age.

Our first stop was by the beach called Bungo Roun' where we met with a Rastafarian fisherman called 'Powder'. He revealed he has been a native of Port Royal for the past 35 years.

He expressed, "A lot of people in Port Royal do fishing. Nothing major still but is the love for it why I am still here doing it. I fish at nights because that's the best time for me, but you have some divers out there at nights that impede us with bright lights."

Other fishermen highlighted the danger of fishing whether night or day, revealing that the sea is more dangerous than land. They said the fishing beach needs amenities including running water and bathroom facilities as often they are left to infringe on others.

"Hurricane relief lacking. We nuh get nothing, we beach is in need of development. If we nuh clean the drains, dem nuh clean!" another argued.

Residents said a number of commercial businesses exist in Port Royal, however, opportunities for the youths are lacking. Many referred to Gloria's - a popular seafood restaurant - as the most popular establishment in the area.

The Port Royalist, as the residents are commonly called, bragged that the community is virtually crime free. Andre Murphy, a resident, said the absence of criminal activities is one thing he was proud of about the area.

Sergeant W.C. Campbell and District Constable U. Edwards at the Port Royal Police Station agreed.

Sgt Campbell expressed, "Port Royal is considered crime free. There are few cases of break-ins, domestic disputes, simple larceny. In the first half of 2012, we had the most reports but since then things have been normal. We do a lot of foot patrolling in and around the community".

Resident Junior Brown gave his view of modern day Port Royal. "A just work di youths dem want. We need a proper football field and a community centre so that the youths can find constructive things to do. We lacking in development. Everybody nah stay youth forever," he shared.

Brown suggested the dire need for a health and trade centre in the community, and called for the reopening of the fire station which was closed some months ago when it was discovered that the roof contained the cancer-causing asbestos.

"Port Royal is a time bomb waiting to explode. The youths nuh have nothing. We lack representation on a host of issues. Sandy pass and damage a lot of rafts and boats and no relief nothing," another resident said.

But many residents spoke happily of the Port Royal Branch Library, Port Royal Primary and Infant School and arguably their top attraction, heritage site, Fort Charles, where THE STAR witnessed a number of Russian visitors on tour. Many expressed gratitude and openly expressed they would be returning for a follow-up visit.

Tour guide Sophia McDonald said Port Royal is a beautiful attraction, but needs a ferry service. "We miss the ferry because it's historic and convenient. Since the ferry stopped running, we have been affected. People would normally come to town and visit after riding the ferry."

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