Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Life and history
 The arts
 Science and technology
 Back Cover

Title: Jamaica journal
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00090030/00073
 Material Information
Title: Jamaica journal
Series Title: Jamaica journal.
Abbreviated Title: Jam. j.
Physical Description: v. : ill. (part col.) ; 31 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Institute of Jamaica
Publisher: Institute of Jamaica.
Place of Publication: Kingston
Publication Date: July 2000
Frequency: semiannual
Subject: Periodicals -- Jamaica   ( lcsh )
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: Jamaica
Dates or Sequential Designation: Began with Dec. 1967 issue.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00090030
Volume ID: VID00073
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 01797964
lccn - 75027862
issn - 0021-4124

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Table of Contents
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Life and history
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
    The arts
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
    Science and technology
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
    Back Cover
        Page 57
        Page 58
Full Text


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At Shell, safety features first.
And especially on our roads it is
of paramount importance

In an effort to safeguard future
generations Shell has instituted a
comprehensive Road Safety
School Programme to educate
our young about proper road

As you go through the journey of
life let safe travel be your motto.

~~- .,

You've got a friend at Shell

The Shell Company (W.I.) Limited, 236 Windward Road, Kingston 2, Jamaica




Chairman Editorial Committee:
Hon. Barbara Gloudon, O.J.
Design and Production
DesignStudio Ltd.
Subscription Assistant:
Faith Myers
Editorial Assistant
Sheena Johnson
Lithographic Printers
Jamaica Journal is published by the
Institute of Jamaica
All correspondence should be addressed to:
Institute of Jamaica
12 East Street, Kingston, Jamaica
Telephone: (876) 922-0620-6
Fax: (876) 922-1147
E-mail: ioj.jam@infochan.com
Back issues:
Most back issues are available. List sent on
request. Entire series available on
microfilm from University Microfilms,
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106, U.S.A.
Subscriptions: J$685 for three issues
(in Jamaica only); U.K: Individuals: 15;
Institutions: 22; All other countries:
Individuals: US$27, Institutions: US$32
Retail Single copy Price: J$270
Advertising: Rates sent on request.
Index: Articles appearing in Jamaica
Journal are abstracted and indexed in
Historical Abstracts and America:
History and Life.
Vol. 27 No. 1
Copyright 2000 by Institute of Jamaica
Cover or contents may not be reproduced in
whole or in part without the written
permission of the Institute of Jamaica.

Cover: Bob Marley photograph courtesy
Jamaica Information Service, superimposed on
Barrington Watson's Pan-Africanists.


0 D An

Vol 27 No 1

July 2000

Bob Marley Global Icon
Liberty Hall- Cradle of Liberty
Of Space and Rememberance:
Kingston's Liberty Hall

Edna Manley -
Sense and Sensibility
February 29th or March 1st
Barrington Watson's
Gifts for the Nation
The donations of Aaron
and Marjorie Matalon
Island Voices
"Be You"
Institute of Jamaica's
Musgrave Medals Awards 1999
Awardees Prof. Errol Morrison
Dr. Erna Brodber
Lorna Goodison

Natural History Society of
Jamaica Part One 44
Part Two 47
After 60 years 48
National Library of Jamaica 50
Jamaica Launches Bio-Diversity
Website 51
Hope Gardens Natural Beauty 52
Saving Spanish Town's
Iron Bridge 55


!' 5.7"nere is a rorcez orT
exultation, a celebration of luck,
when a writer (read "an artist") finds
himself (herself) witness to the early morning 1
Culture that is defining itself, branch by branch, lea
' by leaf, in the self-defining dawn, which is why,
Especially at the ends of the sea, it is good to make a
ritual of The Sunrise. Then the noun the Antilles ripples
Like brightening water, and the sound of leaves, palm
Lfronds, and birds are the sounds of a fresh dialect, the<
L native tongue..." ,

Derek Walcott,
wean Man of Letters Nobel Laure
c~ptance speech 1992 Nobel Prim,
in. Ce..eremionu.)

National uance I neatre company (NV I U) performing Hitual or tne sunnse"

Oenis Valentine


underway, and the A RY
accolades continue to BOB MARLEY
come. His music, a
soundtrack of the times
is receiving unprecedented sales, a I
and Bob Marley has become a
global icon, transcending music by Dermot Hussey
as a spiritual and social
conscience of millions of people, described him in 1981, "as the went against tradition, and mad

Jamaica and his music are
synonymous, Jamaica and his
name, interchangeable. The
recent accolades, the BBC's
Millennium Song 'One Love',
acknowledges a world that has
not known peace or love for the
entire 20th century, and Time
Magazine's "Album of the
Century," is a progression
of international recognition,
beginning for instance with the
Guardian newspaper, who

most eloquent ambassador of
reggae, one of the most powerful
and eloquent and conscientious
voices of the century, for his
conviction, his integrity and
commitment to his faith, and
that he would be missed as much
for the timeless splendour of the
music he produced".

The United Nations, in 1978,
awarded him a Peace Medal. The
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a
pantheon of legendary artists,


him the first reggae inductee in
1994, because his impact had
changed the face of pop music.
Bono, the lead singer of the rock
group, U-2, in giving the
induction speech said, "Marley
didn't choose or didn't walk
down the middle, he raced to the
edges embracing all extremes
and creating a oneness, he
wanted everything at the same
time, and was everything at the
same time, prophet, soul rebel,



rastaman, herbsman, wild man, a
natural mystic man, ladies man,
island man, soccer man, family
man, show man, shaman, human,

A pop star's passport to
immortality, and the yardstick by
which success is measured, is a
string of hits and million sellers.
Marley had modest chart
success, 'Exodus' was his best
selling album. It's only since his
death, that Legend, a compilation
of some of his best songs, and
"Songs of Freedom", a boxed set,
have created record sales
according to Billboard maga-
zine's calculations.

There is "natural mystic", a
rhythm of nature in the award.
Roger Steffens, the American
reggae archivist, actor and poet
says, "What I think so many
people in America have been
commenting about, is the fact
that Time magazine, historically
has been a rather right wing
publication. Certainly the man
who founded it Henry Luce, was
noted for his capitalistic points of
view. They were late to turn
against the Vietnam War for
example, so in some sense Henry
Luce may be turning over in his
grave, to think that his
successors have chosen an album
by a black Jamaican as the best
album of the 20th Century".

In the late seventies, Time had
considered Marley for a cover,
but it never materialized. Marley
was disinterested, he kept the
reporters waiting for too long at
56 Hope Road. Yet at the end of


"I have to stand
in line, a long
line of people
the world over,
who found real
important stuff
in his work. He
is a classic now"
Al Jarreau

the century it proclaims for its 94
million readers a Marley album,
not one by Elvis Presley, Bob
Dylan, Frank Sinatra, Stevie
Wonder or Paul Simon as "Album
of the Century". What does such
an award mean? Economist
Michael Witter is suspicious of
their motives, "For Time to
embrace him, is on their side an
attempt, as the establishment
always does, to remove the
revolutionary sting, to legitimize
him, to sanitize him, but it will
help to cement him in our

Sarley, would have
scoffed at Time as
the voice of
Babylon, but his greatness
as Michael Manley once
observed, was that he was
able to move from passion
to compassion, a quality
that is at the core of the
Exodus album, a continuous
thread in his life's work.
There are a number of
Marley albums that could
be considered as one's best
choice, and for different
reasons, "Catch A Fire"
(singled out often among
the 100 best albums made),
"Natty Dread", "Survival" and

Time's reasons for choosing
Exodus above all, was as its
Jamaican born, Senior Music
Writer, Christopher John Farley,
saw it:
"It was simply a great
album, a lot of other albums
were considered, a lot of
other artists were considered
as well. We thought about
Bob Dylan and his album,
"The Free Will of Bob
Dylan", we thought about
Stevie Wonder and "Songs in
The Key of Life". The Beatles
were also considered with
their album "Sergeant
Peppers". The short list
ended up, Bob Marley,
number one for Exodus.
After that we had Miles
Davis's "Kind of blue" and
Jimmy Hendricks "Are You
The reason why Bob Marley
ended up number one,

because his album really had
it all. It not only had great
lyrics, that can be read as
poetry, that have deeper
meaning to them, beyond the
love that you get when you
first hear it on the radio, but
very subtle complex
meanings, that people can
unravel. That's one mark of a

Pareles of the New York Times
noted, "That's just as well
because while other fads have
peaked and become instantly
dated, the balmy understated
reggae beat has quietly infiltrated
rock, pop, rhythm and blues,
country and even an occasional
jazz tune".

his birth. His mother Cedella
Booker, in her book "Portrait of
Bob Marley", speaks of his
happy childhood at Nine Miles in
rural Jamaica. Much of the
imagery, and the folk wisdom in
his songs comes from that root.
An intriguing part of his early
life was his ability to read
palms accurately, and developed

really great quite a following in
album. Two, "A hipster is a deep person, like Bob the village, before
the level of mysteriously
musicianship Marley, someone who has a passion for stopping, and
on the album, the highest good on the planet. A square switching to singing.
a really first How much one
rate group of onlu thinks of his renis or his ego" wonders, of the ability

musicians is _
musicians is ...
l'A A

brought into
the mix, and
their performing at the top of
their game. Also, because the
album was an unusually
sophisticated mix of spir-
ituality and romanticism as
well. Bob Marley was not
only a guy who called for
revolution, who had songs
that were about social
protest, but he also had songs
of love too, so it's an album
that really explored the whole
of the human experience,
just on that album, and that
really put it head and
shoulders above the albums
we were considering".

There was a time in the mid-
seventies when many observers
predicted that reggae would be
the next biggest thing,
particularly when many top
artists like Paul Simon and
Stevie Wonder had reggae hits,
but the big breakthrough never
came, and writers like John

That slow burn, is one of the
reasons why Marley's music
persists, and the nature of his
music as well. As Farley notes, "I
think the thing about Bob Marley
is that his work is so
sophisticated, it works on
multiple levels, you can enjoy it
just as a great pop song, you can
listen to the song and you can
dance to it, you can lie in your
bed and relax to it, but then you
can also pass its meanings and go
deeper and figure out what it
means in a wider social context
as well".

The Time writer's insights into
Marley's music beckons us to
re-examine the forces that shaped
this extraordinary artist, however,
there is agonizingly too little that
we know about

him, beyond the
confine of his
songs, and the
circumstances of

to tell fortunes and
os Santana
interpret, character
did he put into song
writing. Once he's chosen music,
he is determined and dedicated,
no doubt inspired by Massa
Tack, a serious rural musician,
who Marley describes, "you
know how me know dem man
serious bout music, me see it in
dem eye".

His migration to West Kingston
occurs at a time of movement of
jah people, the formation of
fellow Wailers, Peter Tosh and
Bunny Wailer. Their combined
brilliance, and a phenomenal
band that was the qualitative
standard of the day. His
conversion to the Rastafarian
faith, and a genius for song
writing from his interaction with
human experience, and expressing
it as slices of life that speak to all

"One bright morning when my
work is over Man will fly away
Rastaman Chant


From Trench Town, the Wailers
enter the ska era, wailing behind
Skatalite horns. By the time
reggae emerges, they define the
form, and Bob Marley, Peter
Tosh and Bunny Wailer begin to
interpret the struggle of black
Jamaicans through the radical
impulses of reggae music.

Michael Witter, also sees Marley
as part of a generation of
remarkable young leaders, who
never lived past forty, John
Lennon, Malcolm X and Che
Guevara, and he credits Marley's
genius for taking the National
Liberation struggles going on in
the world at the time, beyond the
political here and now, into a
people's identity and culture.

Marley's international acclaim
takes on a different twist in
Jamaica, one of the irony and
ambivalence, by officialdom,
and adulation on the part of the
masses. The Wailers were
lionized from the sixties for their
timeless hits, their voices
speaking for and through a
people. At Marley's funeral, still
one of the largest public
functions, the large crowds were
not sad, but triumphant, knowing
that "one bright morning when
my work is over, man will fly
away home". That Jamaica
farewell declared him a national
hero as he was laid to rest.

The controversy surrounding the
first Marley statute, its rejection
because it rendered Marley too
symbolically, too prophetically.
The symbolism, however, is
what the world has seen, and
what we in Jamaica have now


come to accept because the
world has acknowledged
it. Not withstanding that
we find it difficult to
accept our own greatness
our Representatives, and in
due course a suitable
honour for Marley will be

here is already
considerable public
debate on whether
he should be named a
National Hero. Member
of Parliament for East
Kingston, Ronald Thwaites,
in a Private Member's
Motion tabled the House of
Representatives in January
2000 called upon the
Government to honour
Marley, linking the honour
with a vision of the
economic possibilities
which would accrue from
such action.

"I think more than anybody else, his
music more than anybody else from
the past 50 year period, has a chance
of lasting longer than virtually anybody
Chris Blackwell

Marley's awards and Burning disconnected from any mass
Spear's Grammy are also a movement, from any collective
comment on what has been seen struggle by a people for rights,
as a low point in the popular but more with the individual
music of the late Eighties eking out, grabbing his own in a
and Nineties. "Why I think our world where there is not
music has fallen away, says enough."
Witter, is because it has become

On a Sunday evening,
July 27, 1919, a great
crowd gathered at
138th. Street between
Lennox and Seventh
Avenues in New York City. The
people had been called there by
Marcus Garvey to celebrate the
opening of the first of hundreds
of Liberty Halls that were to be
established in the United States
and other parts of the world, and
they came in thousands.
At the joyful launching,
members sang, played music,
recited poetry and listened to the
speeches of eloquent men and
women. Garvey called the New

York centre, "the Mecca of
Negro intellectuality"; and
described it further as "...the
centre from which we send out
the sparks of liberty to the far
corners of the world." His
assistant, Henrietta Vinton
Davis, likened it to "...a great
central sun that sends its rays
afar, reaching unto the uttermost
parts of the world." And so it
was. In the years that followed,
Liberty Halls were built in many
countries and from that hub the
gospel of the U.N.I.A. was
spread at regular Sunday
meetings and on other days as
the movement required.



Cradle of


by Ken Jones

The gaiety of the event was
tempered that night by Garvey's
solemn announcement that the
opening ceremony could well be
the last occasion for many years
that the membership would hear
him speak. He said he was
apprehensive that sinister forces
in the community were seeking
to have him removed from the
scene and to "scatter the sheep by
striking the shepherd." But, he
added "The time has come for
the Negro race to offer up its
martyrs upon the altar of liberty."
A week later he was arrested in
his office on a warrant sworn by
the New York District Attorney
claiming that Garvey had libeled



him. Liberty Hall was so named
because of Garvey's great
admiration for the Irish
independence movement and the
Irish Transport and General
Workers Union whose
headquarters in Dublin was
named Liberty Hall in 1912. It
was at this place, described as "
the fortress of the militant
working class of Ireland..", that
many plans were made for Irish
self-determination; and Garvey
saw the U.N.I.A.'s struggle as
being akin to that of the Irish.
Indeed, when the British
parliament passed the Irish Free
State Act in 1922, Garvey sent
the Irish freedom fighters a cable
- "Six thousand of us assembled
in Liberty Hall, New York,
representing the 400 million
Negroes of the world, send you
congratulations on your masterly

Grand though Liberty Hall became,
it was not the first base of the
U.N.I.A. in New York. Initially,

the organization had no abiding
place. It began with street comer
meetings in Harlem and more
formal gatherings in the
Lafayette Building at 13 1 st.
Street and 7th. Avenue. Later, the
Sunday afternoon meetings
shifted to the Oddfellows Hall on
5th. Avenue; then to the Crescent
Building on 135th. Street; and
after that, to premises which they
named the Universal Building.

U.N.I.A. membership grew
rapidly at Universal Building, so
that meetings had to be held at
the white-owned Palace Casino.
Thousands gathered there every
Sunday night. until on one
occasion, the organization was
shut out of the building without
notice. Garvey who had been
away on a lecture tour, returned
to get the news and immediately
he began negotiations to rent an
old building left vacant by the
Metropolitan Baptist Church
when it was removed to a newer
home. Shortly after, the pastor

agreed to sell the premises and
the U.N.I.A. bought it for
US$27,000. That was just about
two years after the organization
had been launched in New York.

The acquisition of the church
building resulted in a further
increase in U.N.I.A. membership.
On any given night when Garvey
was due to speak the hall would
be jammed with more than 5,000
people, and often, according to a
report of the time, thousands
were turned away and still more
remained trying to get in.

An article written in New York,
July 1920, described the Liberty
Hall scene as follows:
"...were you to visit any of
the big churches on a Sunday
night you would find some
empty seats. But go to
Liberty Hall and you would
find nearly 2,000 people...
in the building from the
platform to the outer doors;
and outside and equally


large number will be found
clustered around the building,
crowding the sidewalk and
streets and the adjoining lots,
endeavouring to listen from
the open doors and windows.
And on week nights, Liberty
Hall is comfortably filled
every night.

"The band plays every night.
The choir sings three nights a
week and soloists...regale the
audience with delightful
music. Nowhere in the
country will you find the
Negro gathering that you find
in Liberty Hall... "
T he enthusiastic Sunday
night crowds grew rapidly
each week and became so
large that the organization was
soon obliged to acquire more
space by purchasing the
adjoining lot of land for
US$23,000. The intention was to
build on the land and provide
sufficient accommodation for the
first International Convention,
arranged for August 1920. Plans
were drawn for a new building
estimated to cost $35,000 and
when the U.N.I.A., still a
relatively new movement,
experienced some difficulty
raising money from mortgagors,
it turned to its own. Within two
weeks the membership by
individual subscription put up a
loan of $28,000 so that
construction could begin. When
it was finished, the new Liberty
Hall was three times the size of
the original building, with
seating capacity for 12 thousand
and a speakers' platform able to
hold 200 persons.

Liberty Hall was intended not
only as headquarters for the
U.N.I.A. and a meeting place for
lectures and entertainment. It
was also supposed to serve as a
sanctuary for U.N.I.A. members.
Garvey once told his followers,
"You can come always into
Liberty Hall; if it goes so bad
that your landlord locks you
out and you cannot find a
bed, you can come right to
Liberty Hall; and if you
become so hungry because of
lack of employment... we
will have a soup kitchen right
here; so that when anything
goes wrong you can always
come to Liberty Hall... "

One of the
major social
events at Liberty andsTpl
Hall took place
just five months
after the official
opening. This was the wedding
of Marcus Garvey and Amy
Ashwood on Christmas night of
1919. The Roman Catholic
ceremony was attended by
five hundred invitees, but
three thousand button-wearing
members got inside and
hundreds more were outside
clamouring for entry. There were
five ministers of the Gospel and,
according to the bride, some
US$3,500 worth of presents
were received.

Another, more historic Liberty
Hall spectacular was the re-
enactment of an ancient
Ethiopian Ceremonial Court
Reception, staged in August
1921, in conjunction with the
Second International Convention

of Negroes of the world. The
event, described as "...the greatest
state social event that has taken
place among black people in the
last three hundred years," was a
display of "... the ancient glory,
pomp and splendor of Ethiopia in
the days of the Queen of Sheba,
centuries long ago, of her greatness
and world supremacy..."

A report of the function
published afterwards said it was:
"...comparable to similar
state functions held in the
ceremonial courts of
England, Germany, Italy,
France and the United States.
It was representative, too, not

only of the very best
elements in the race, but
representative as well of the
highest Negro culture, there
having been present men
and women in every walk
of life, as ministers, doctors,
lawyers, architects, engineers,
teachers, financiers, merchants,
businessmen, dressmakers,
designers, milliners, hair-
dressers, restaurateurs, etc.
Persons of prominence and
note were knighted, as in the
days of old, for distinguished
service rendered to the race;
men and women of outstanding
character and ability were
presented to His Highness the
Potentate, and several young
misses also presented upon
making their social debut.


"All this took place and was
done amid a gorgeous,
dazzling scene that could not
but evoke the highest
admiration and delight of
those fortunate enough to
witness it, and stir to the very
depths of one's soul a true
feeling of race consciousness
and race pride. For here one
stood in a blaze of brilliant
scenery- men in uniforms;
ladies, young and old, in
beautiful, elaborate gowns in
the latest modes; gentlemen
in full dress; decorations all
around in the colors of the
Red, the Black and the
Green; bunting, flags,
Japanese lanterns, flowers,
palm plants and ferns
tastefully here and there."

It was on this occasion that
Marcus Garvey first wore his
royal attire. The report of the
proceedings said: -
"The Provisional President of
Africa wore a military hat,

very pointed, tipped with
white feathers, broadcloth
trousers with gold stripe
down the side, a Sam
Browne belt crossing the
shoulder and around the
waist, gold epaulets, gold and
red trimmings on the sleeves,
gold sword and white gloves.
He looked the image of
Marshall Joffre, though he
seemed a trifle uncom-
fortable in his new, unac-
customed attire."

Music was supplied by the Black
Star Line Band and "...a bugle
call was given, announcing that
all was ready." Then came the
parading entourage led by the
African Legion of 60 men, 45
Black Cross nurses, the Women's
Motor Corps of 13 and the
Juvenile Corps of 22 girls and 14
boys. Following prayers, the
Chaplain General remarked:-

"In all the centuries past
since the days of the ancient

glories of Ethiopia the eyes
of man have not seen such a
glorious and gorgeous era of
the sons and daughters of
Africa as we witness here
tonight...The ancient glories
of Ethiopia, especially as it
excelled on that splendid
island of Nero, where the
tributaries of the Nile
surrounded that wonderful
capital of ancient Ethiopia
and where the men of our
race revelled with pomp and
with glory such as we are
enjoying tonight. But those
days for many centuries have
gone. In this year of grace
Anno Domini one thousand
nine hundred and twenty-
one, we see being renewed
something of the ancient
courts of the nations of
Hamitic descent.

"We are now about to set our
own standards of society. For
over 300 years and especially
for the last 60 years we have

been imitating the social
standards of alien races; we
have been copying their
etiquette; we have been
bowing down to their
grooves of society. But there
comes a time, and this is the
birthday of the new and
glorious era, when Negroes
led on by the great genius
who wrote the constitution of
the Universal Negro
Improvement Association and
included in that constitution a
provision for the annual
holding of such a court. The
time has come when due to
this genius we see that for
which we have long waited -
the first Court held by
Negroes under their own
world leaders and Potentate.
Our eyes have seen this
day... "

The ceremonials concluded,
there was a banquet spread for
300 guests; and the repast,
described as being of"unusual
excellence" included: Punch
Africanos, Liberian chicken,
shredded; Boiled Virginia ham,
Filet of ox tongue, Sliced cold
shoulder a la Monrovia, Liberty
special ice cream, Black Cross
macaroons and assorted fruits.

From the founding of the first
Liberty Hall, the U.N.I.A.
headquarters was regarded as "
...the spiritual tabernacle..for the
entire movement, ...inspiring
U.N.I.A. members everywhere to
establish Liberty Halls as meeting
places in their communities."
The people of Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, were among the first
to emulate the New York

example; and there the story was
similar large numbers of
persons jamming the halls for
meetings and special
presentations. One observer
wrote that people had come to
look upon the Liberty Hall there
as "...the forum of Negro thought
and intellect and the fountain of
inspiration which has its reaction
in the ever increasing race
consciousness that is pervading
Negroes the world over."

s on the east coast so it
was in many other parts of
the United States.
Wherever U.N.I.A. branches
were established the head-
quarters were
named Liberty
Hall. Far out west W
in Oakland,
California the
division formed
in 1920 had a
membership of
500 when it bought an old
market building and established
it as Liberty Hall, the centre for
its economic and political
activities. In the mid-thirties
when the U.N.I.A. was in
decline, the building was taken
over by the Father Divine Peace
Mission, but the name Liberty
Hall was retained.

After Father Divine, other
religious groups used the
building for church services, but
by 1958 it had deteriorated so
badly that city officials decided
to demolish the structure.
However, shortly before 'D-day',
a social service organization
bought the premises and
refurbished it at a cost of over

US$1-million. Again, the name
was retained and today, Liberty
Hall is listed on the National
Register of Historic Places and it
is said to be the only site in
northern California that is
related to Black History. Also, it
continues to be involved in
economic and social
development, just as Marcus
Garvey would have had it during
the hey-day of the U.N.I.A.
Liberty Hall in Kingston was not
the first U.N.I.A. headquarters in
Jamaica. Before moving to 76
King Street, the organization
was based mainly at Charles
Street and as it grew, meetings
were held on Tuesday nights at
Collegiate Hall, on Kirk Avenue,

* the fullest sense.

off Church Street. Collegiate
Hall was a leading social and
political centre of the time and it
was there that the influential
National Club of Jamaica was
founded by S.A.G. Cox in 1909.
Not long afterwards, the owners
of Collegiate Hall closed its
doors to the Club because of a
radical anti-colonial speech
made by the fiery Cox.

The King Street property was
bought for 800 pounds in 1923
when the Jamaican currency was
equal to the British sterling. The
two-storey building was home
for the Kingston Division; and it
was the first meeting hall in
Jamaica that was fully owned


and operated by black people. Its
rooms and the large courtyard
and other facilities were used not
just for formal gathering of
members, but also for business,
public entertainment and
educational activities. The
U.N.I.A. conducted lectures,
debates, elocution contests and
social events. At one time, the
premises accommodated a
U.N.I.A.-sponsored employment
exchange and there was a
commissary for members and a
soup kitchen for needy persons.
At Christmas time hundreds of
the poor and humble were treated
by the organization at Liberty

In August 1923, The Negro
World, published by the U.N.I.A.
recorded the following descrip-
tion of Kingston's Liberty Hall:-
"Liberty Hall, the cradle of

Negro liberty Liberty Hall,
the place from whence comes
the inspiration and fire that
now permeate the minds
of the Negroes of this city,
is located at 76 King Street,
a couple of hundred yards
from the eastern entrance
of the Victoria Park. Above its
entrance is a large sign, "Liberty
Hall Universal Negro
Improvement Association and
African Communities League"
Suspended from this is
a small sign indicating the
officers of the Division.
On the left is a large notice
board on which can often be
read, "Big Mass Meeting
Tonight". On the right are
two other signs, viz:
"U.N.I.A. Laundry" and
"Registered Office of the
African Communities
League's People's Co-

operative Bank Ltd." a
bank run under the auspices
of the Association for its

"This property... has a
frontal of about 75 feet and
extends right back to the
lane (Love Lane), about 150
feet. It is paved with bricks
upon which benches are
strewn in the open air for its,
meetings. Some 30 feet in
from the entrance is a
building which is used for
the offices...the veranda
serving as a rostrum. From a
flagstaff on this building
floats the Red the Black and
the Green. The buildings in
the rear serve the purposes
of the laundry, etc. Briefly,
this is the Liberty Hall that
is so dear to the hearts of its


members and friends, and
undoubtedly a dagger to the
breast of its enemies..."

Liberty Hall in Kingston
reflected the spirit of Liberty
Halls throughout those parts of
the world touched by the
U.N.I.A. Liberty Hall, every-
where, embodied the true spirit
of the emancipation movement.
As one New Orleans woman told
the Mayor of that city in 1922,
"Liberty Hall is our church, our
club house, our theatre, our
fraternal order and our school."
William Ferris, a journalist at the
Negro World, wrote passionately
of how "...savants gathered
around Liberty Hall, discussing
questions ranging from the
freedom of Africa to the
Philosophy of Pragmatism, and
Einstein's Theory of
Relativity... "

education, and higher
education at that, was a
cornerstone of Garveyism.
Garvey taught that without
education, nothing would be
achieved and in the effort to
uplift the masses, Liberty Hall at
King Street was home to
U.N.I.A.- sponsored evening
classes at which subjects
including Mathematics, English,
Latin, History and Geography
were taught.

While the U.N.I.A. was
essentially a mass movement
with strong appeal to the down-
trodden, it also gave inspiration
to aspiring middle class people.
It brought members of the
various social groups together
under one roof at Liberty Hall
and provided a platform for the
expressions of budding intel-
lectuals, professors, entertainers
and ordinary men and women

searching for opportunities
denied them for generations.

Liberty Hall had room for
learners and lecturers alike.
Bright young men and women
held discussions and discourses
there. They included many who
were later to make a great impact
upon the society and its
development Philip Sherlock,
educator and social worker,
former Secretary of the Institute
of Jamaica and vice-Chancellor
of the University of the West
Indies found an early platform
there. So did the exceptionally
brilliant linguist, educator and
Roman Catholic priest, Fr.
Gladstone Wilson, who in 1932
became the first Negro tutor at
the Urban College in Rome.
Among the women were Edith
Dalton James, a noted teacher,
and Amy Bailey, a vigorous
exponent of Women's Rights. A


young Wesley Powell was one of
two shorthand writers who
attended and took notes for
U.N.I.A meetings. He went on to
found the Excelsior educational
institutions while the other note
taker, Wesley Atherton, became a
senior writer/editor for Garvey's
Blackman newspaper.

Liberty Hall was a haven for
young black singers, dancers,
dramatists and musicians. Young
Ranny Williams and the versatile
Rudolph frequented the stage.
Iris Patterson, poetess,
elocutionist and writer,
performed there. Iris, a public
stenographer, served as one of
the secretaries of the U.N.I.A.
and her poems included "Ode to
Marcus Garvey", "Africa for the
Africans" and "The Black Man".

Liberty Hall was nursery for
the talent of many of
Jamaica's outstanding
entertainers dancers Harold and
Trim; comedians including Lee
Gordon and the team of Racca
and Sandy, and Mahoney who
played Hawaiian-style music on
a carpenter's saw. Many were
visiting artistes, but many of the
performers were regulars the
U.N.I.A. Choir, the Liberty Hall
Dance Troupe and Granville
Campbell, renowned pianist,
composer and internationally
acclaimed tenor.

In 1927 when Marcus Garvey
left the United States as a
deportee there were as many as
fourteen hundred Liberty Halls in
different parts of the world. He
loved and respected the Liberty


Hall of New York, but the one
nearest his heart was the one in
his homeland where Division
No. 100 of the U.N.I.A. was
located. Upon his return to
Jamaica in December of that
year, his first stop was at Liberty
Hall, the focal point of the
welcoming procession that
wended its way from the United
Fruit Company's pier, along Port
Royal Street, up King Street,
across South Parade into West
Parade, then to North Parade and
finally to 76 Upper King Street.
Hundreds of the faithful
participated in the march and still
more lined the route
to the cradle of
liberty". On that
memorable occa-
sion, Liberty Hall
was filled to over-
flowing with several
hundreds more outside.

Coincidentally, it was also in
1927 that George O. Marke, a
former deputy supreme potentate
of the U.N.I.A., successfully
sued the New York organization
for back salary. Two years later,
when he could not collect from
the parent body, Marke applied to
the Jamaican courts asking for
the sale of Liberty Hall to help
pay what he said was due to him.
The Jamaican court ruled in his
favour and ordered the premises
sold at auction. An appeal was
entered and although the
Government made strenuous
efforts to dispose of the property,
Garvey's attorney, Lewis
Ashenheim, intervened and
managed to delay the disposal of
Liberty Hall.

Ashenheim had let it be
known that the verdict was
under appeal and that
anyone who attempted to buy
Liberty Hall would run the risk
of being sued. The court took a
dim view of this action and on
September 1929 Ashenheim was
fined 300 for contempt of court.
Garvey himself incurred a
similar charge when he refused
to hand over items ordered by the
court, and he was sentenced to
prison for three months. A month
later, Marke died a bankrupt in
Brooklyn. Eventually, the
Supreme Court reversed the

decision of the lower court,
ruling that the UNIA in Jamaica
could not be held responsible for
the debts of the New York

Despite subsequent adver-
sities, Liberty Hall was
refurbished and had a
spectacular re-opening in 1930.
It was there in 1935 that some
4,000 Jamaicans gathered to
volunteer their services in
Abyssinia, should the Italians
carry out their threat to attack
Ethiopia. This demonstration
followed on an article written by
Mr. Garvey in the Blackman. He
had declared:-
"Abyssinia has millions of
friends outside her own
borders in Africa. Friends of

blood tie who are as anxious
to go to her help as Italy is
anxious to invade her
territory. Mussolini may not
know this, but there are
millions of Western
Negroes, if the powers of
Europe would only allow
them, who would make
quick minced-meat of the
Italians in Abyssinia if they
dared to invade the lone
independent black nation of
the ancient Fatherland.."

As the years went by, the
declining fortunes of the
U.N.I.A., led to financial
difficulties and indebtedness to
the mortgagors of the property.
In 1936 concerts were arranged
to raise money or the Liberty
Hall Fund. These were
conducted and supported by
well known artistes including
Madame Marie Wayne, a noted
violinist, Josephine McDonald,
mezzo soprano who was a
regular soloist at the Holy
Trinity Roman Catholic
Cathedral; Louise Barrow and
Edna Coverley, elocutionist.
The support was good, but the
debt was overwhelming and

eventually the mortgage was
foreclosed and Liberty Hall sold.
In later years, 76 King Street
was used as a garage for buses.
Then in 1987 during the Garvey
Centenary celebrations, it was
acquired by the then
Government and plans for its
restoration "as a permanent
monument to the late National
Hero..." were announced. At
the time, the Prime Minister said
the acquisition of the premises
by the state was to ensure "...that
it becomes a permanent fixture
in the nation's history...used in
continuing programmes related
to Garvey's memory." For
whatever reason, the plan did not
come to fruition and the property
was left to the vagaries of
vandals and the weather. But
Garveyism still pervades the
premises. The ravages of time
have not diminished the desire to
restore the glory days when
Kingston's Liberty Hall was
symbol and custodian of the
redemptive spirit of a people
determined to be fully liberated
from centuries of slavery and its

In the closing months of the
Twentieth Century, Friends of

Liberty Hall, encouraged and
supported by the Ministry of
Education and Culture,
organized a programme to
mobilize all available resources
in a final effort to revive,
refurbish and restore Liberty
Hall. This time it is hoped that
the flame will truly be rekindled;
and that once again, as Garvey
reported in 1921, after touring
Liberty Halls in many
"Men and women are
whispering the name of
Liberty Hall, almost with
reverence, because of the
fact that they are looking
forward to this spot and
thinking of it as holy ground.
Here is where their
inspiration focuses. Here is
where their hopes lay; and
they are breathing this name,
not only with respect, but
with solemnity. It is
therefore up to us to make
good the promise that we
made that we will labour on
behalf of freedom's cause until
the chains of bondage are
loose and every man is free."

a a

This historic cultural centre
established at Kingston Jamaica
in 1926 by Marcus Garvey will
be restored and refurbished as a
living monument. Once again it
will provide facilities for
education, entertainment and
enrichment of spirit for people
in Jamaica and abroad.

You can help make the dream a
reality by identifying funding
for, or contributing to the
construction and operation of
Liberty Hall; donating papers
and memorabilia to the
Library/Museum; by becoming
a member of the movement.

For further information contact:
Friends of Liberty Hall
c/o Institute of Jamaica
10-16 East Street,
Kingston Jamaica.
Tel: (876) 922-0620-6
Fax: (876) 922-1147
E-mail: garveyjamaica


Of Space and Rememberance:

Kingston's Liberty Hall

7'I at makes
the house
of a great
man or woman histor-
ically important is what
makes any building
important namely, that it
throws light on a
significant aspect of the
lives of people in the past.
It is not just as an antique,
nor as a shrine, but as a
document, as a piece of
vital evidence about the
past society that created it,
that a building deserves to
be regarded as 'historic'."'

On February 23, 2000,
Professor Robert Hill
delivered a lecture at the
Institute of Jamaica on
Kingston's Liberty Hall,
headquarters of Marcus
Garvey's United Negro
Improvement Association
and African Communities
League. The lecture,
hosted by the African
Caribbean Institute of
Jamaica as part of its annual
February Programme, was

the climax of a series of
events which paid tribute
to the life and work of the
Rt. Excellent Marcus
Garvey. Hill, a noted
Garvey scholar, is
currently Professor of
History at the University
of California, Los
Angeles. He is also Editor
in Chief of the Marcus
Garvey & UNIA Papers
Project and literary
executor of the CLR
James estate.

Professor Hill's lecture,
entitled Of Space and
Kingston's Liberty Hall
traced the development of
the UNIA-ACL as a
world-wide movement of
the black race led by
Marcus Garvey and the
significance of Liberty
Hall to that effort. Using
Kingston's Liberty Hall as
the point of departure, Hill
spoke to the centrality of
Liberty Hall in the life of
the UNIA-ACL. The 'space'

occupied by Liberty Hall
proved more that physical
location. More fundamen-
tally, it created a common
ground for the sharing of
ideas, it was a psycho-
logical refuge, and it was a
place of business, empow-
ering the hundreds of
thousands of adherents to
Garvey's cause.

The African Caribbean
Institute of Jamaica is
currently preparing the
full text for publication.

1. Davidson, Graeme and Chris Conville Eds. A Heritage Handbook. Sydney.
Allen & Unwin, 1991



Sense and Sensibility
by Professor the Hon. Rex Nettleford O.M. at the
opening of the Edna Manley Galleries at the National
Gallery of Jamaica, March 1, 2000

works exhibited with the
love and care of a
curator, who knows his
subject inside out and
has dialogue for hours and years
with their creator, speaks for
itself. This twin Gallery is a
timely addition to the patrimony
of this land Edna Manley loved
so well and spent her life helping
us to understand why we, too,
should love it as much. She had
consummate faith in the creative
potential of the Jamaican people -
her people. And any effort to
unlock that potential whether by
the exercise of the creative
intellect and the creative
imagination, or by the honing of
the collective consciousness around
self- determination, self-reliance,
self-help, self-confidence, self-
esteem, and self-respect was to her
part of the reason for being,
clearly a divine purpose for
living, and arguably the only
justification for claiming
membership in the human family.

It is the context, then, with which
I am concerned on an occasion
like this. One hundred years after
her appearance on Planet Earth,
her iconic presence deserves the
recognition which a grateful
nation is now according her. For
behind the power exuded by the
'Aroused Negro,' the Bead Seller,
that Horse of the Morning, New
Moon and the Rising Sun,


Brother man and Pocomania,
Bogle, Angel and Phoenix, the
Ancestor, Ghetto Mother and her
many other master works,
(behind the power of all those
works) lies a complex weave of
history, existential realities, and
reflections on a society in
transition and therefore in crisis.
Who said that great art is not
mediated by social reality? It is
to Edna Manley's undying credit
that her relevance to con-
temporary life in terms of its
ancestral past and its challenging
future has proven to possess such
staying power and lasting

I thought of Edna Manley during
the current euphoria over Bob
Marley's great achievements for
having had his album
"Exodus" chosen as the
album of the century by
Time Magazine along with
the BBC's designating "One
Love" as its anthem. It is
the message shaped by the
context of a groping society
of souls yearning "to be",
(while coping with the viler
consequences of slavery,
the plantation and colo-
nialism), that attracted the
evaluators of "Exodus"
rather than the beat.
Michael Jackson, Iglesias
and others have probably
sold far more millions of
records than Marley ever
did. But it is the quality of
the Marley impact rather
than the quantity of his
output that has been
considered worthy of the
acclamation it has now
been receiving.


The generation of the Marleys,
Cliffs, Toshes, Tootses is after all
the beneficiary of the foundation
laid by the likes of Edna Manley
who, as animateur and the creator
of Negro Aroused, nurtured a
whole school of Jamaican
painters from the grass roots to
eminence and, above all, to the
route that takes us all out of the
obscurity of ourselves by the
exercises of the creative

No one understood the Arts as
points of power better than Edna
Manley, the sensitive artist, who
grasped the centrality of this
form of action (artistic creation)
to nation-building and the
shaping of a society rooted in its
own realities. That the import and

value of her contribution are not
known by members of this
generation is no fault of hers but
of that side the negative side -
of our heritage which is given to
severance, amnesia and a certain
amount of mean-spiritedness that
may have been bequeathed us by
that holocaust of psychic
oppression which leaves us forever
grasping at identity and that
priceless gift the sense of self.

t was Edna Manley who
founded what is now the
School of Art, a major
Division of the Edna Manley
College of the Visual and
Performing Arts. It is 50 years
old, a few years behind the
University of the West Indies the
birth of which she and her
husband, Norman
Manley gave the fullest
support, predictably
because they both saw
the new Jamaica they
dreamt of tenanted by
creative, constructive,
self-regarding, thinking
souls rather than by

She approved of the
grouping into an arts
academy along with the
Art School, the School
of Music founded by
her sister-in-law Vera
Moodie, the School of
Drama, founded by the

Little Theatre Movement whose
moving spirits Henry and Greta
Fowler drew on her for moral
support and encour-agement, and
the School of Dance founded by
the National Dance Theatre
Company of which she was a
Founding Patron, never missing
a Season of Dance and always in
dialogue about the dance with
the budding choreographers and
artists. For to her the dance was
sculpture in motion which she felt
could produce a Jamaica/Caribbean
iconography without fear of
playing second class citizen to
Europe's classic expression in
that art form a misguided
notion which unfortunately still
pervades the consciousness of
those given to an enduring
psychological dependency.

Her reach was long and her
embrace nurturing and endearing
- firm but not stifling, sustained
but never suffocating. After all,
that is, what ancestors are about.
They warn, influence and inform
even while they let go.

The field of literature attracted
her attention and had the benefit
of that mind which remained
undiminished to the end. She
knew so well what Norman
Manley believed that every
human act is an act of
intelligence. She enjoyed the
great relationships which she had
with writers like Vic Reid, Roger
Mais, Louise Bennett, George
Campbell (dubbed the poet of the
1938 Revolution), John Hearne,
Phillip Sherlock (who collab-
orated with Edna Manley not
only on literature but also on
education and institution-
building in the field of culture)

and with many others who
found a rare and welcome
outlet for their written work
in Focus, the literary journal
she founded and edited in its
fledgling years.

The intricacy of the
web woven in the
diverse activities in
which she involved
herself manifested
itself in the formation of ideas
that found ideal, form and
purpose in the Drumblair
salon where varying ideas
were made to contend,
designs for modern social
living crafted, and the story of
the Jamaican people found its all-
inclusive place in the political and
social revolution that was the
phenomenon of the late thirties.

This, as we know, were the
cause, occasion and result of
the self-government move-
ment which climaxed with
Independence in 1962. But
not before the experiment
with the West Indies
Federation which, though it
failed, has bequeathed us a
legacy of closer regional
integration now seen as sine
qua non of survival in a
globalised international order
which is not really designed
in our interest.

She was at the centre of all
these currents informing the
early stages with her artistic
vision and cultural sense, she
was to embark on a kind of
sabbatical from actual artistic
production to be in the
vanguard of the political and
social movement that gave rise


to the People's National Party in
its earlier dispensation as a
"movement" and throughout its
later life as an electoral agent,
alongside the Jamaica Labour
Party led by her charismatic
cousin Alex who as foil to her
spouse, Norman, must have
provided her with the paradoxes
of existence and the creative
tension of great conflictual
complexity which would be grist
for any artist's mill. Small
wonder that her voluntary exile
away from active artistic
production was followed by a
burst of energy that produced a
body of works expertly categorised
and described by David Boxer in
his monumental chronicling of
the artist's work both in this
Gallery and in that book he
published some years ago.

The first 87 years of the
last century after all
provided Jamaica with
sources of energy in its
growth out of 19th
Century post-Emancipation
into 20th Century
Independence. When she
finally settled in the land of
her mother, she knew that
her life would be
meaningless without total
immersion in the transition
process marked by the
assertiveness (some would
say aggressiveness) deter-
mination, contradictions,
unpredictability, creative
capacity, and aesthetic
energy of a people eager to
transform themselves from
a state of non-personhood

into one in which they could be
the acknowledged creators of
their own destiny.

She saw the political process as a
creative process bearing strong
resemblances to her special form
of art sculpture. For what is a
nation if it is not the figure
moulded out of the clay rich in
possibilities in the hands of the
sculptor as nation builder?

Those who like to think that she
was transformed into a politician
by her nationalistic patriot
husband would do well to ponder
on the thought that eventually
Drumblair was occupied by two
artists as well Edna the sculptor
working in wood, stone, clay,
fibreglass and Norman, the
sculptor carving out of the
would-be waste-wood of

colonialism, a vibrant form of
human aggregation now known
generally as civil society.

art understood the slings
and arrows of practical
politics; for whatever
the medium the sculptor/
artist works in, she knows that
the final success in artistic form
is the result of wrestling with the
material at hand. If wood and
clay can talk back, let alone
people. So the failures at the
polls were always greeted with
"The People have spoken". The
relationship between art and
politics and the lessons politics
can learn from the arts
characterized the texture and
sophistication of Jamaican
public life thanks to people like
Edna Manley whose sense and
sensibility took her to the
soul of Jamaican society
and way beneath its skin.

She understood so many
things about this society
and shared with our restive
majority the thirst for
freedom individual
freedom, the central role of
the woman which meant a
demand for equity in a
man's world without any
corresponding desire to
emasculate the male of the
species, the wit and

(Detail -
hil e 6t Fodu
-ai La Son


humour that act as balm in
Gilead, the hope that never fails
to dwarf the acknowledged
despair, the yearning after
dignity black dignity, the
rejection of any form of racism
from whatever quarter, the love
of family (whether nuclear,
matriarchal or extended), the
contradictions and paradoxes of
everyday living and the deep
spirituality that informs personal
development especially in
celebration of the redemptive
ethic as Garvey and Rastafari
and all secular politicians in
ardent search of a new Jerusalem
so well knew.

She shared with the Rastafarians
that deep attachment to resonant
parts of the Old Testament; and
her work reflects that attach-
ment, though a conventional
gospel-grinder she certainly was
not! She brought to the
Scriptures the intelligence of a
probing mind as she did to all
else and she admired the
individualism of the Rastafarians
in their own search for a God in
their image.

She understood and was fasci-
nated by the passion anyone
brought to the quest for that
moment when one's relationship
to oneself and to the world is
defined. She understood the
Jamaican's religiosity as being
firmly rooted in the quest for
human truth that elusive truth
that all men are indeed created
equal. Her own art, after all, was
in quest for human truth. And
she knew that that truth had to be
found in the realities of the
Jamaican situation. Universality,

after all, comes from the
authenticity of the specific. And
in any case one cannot make sense
of other cultures if one cannot make
sense of one's own.

Such understanding is the legacy
of an Edna Manley whose
exploration of the predicament of
coming to terms with the cross-
fertilizing challenges of a
transplanted people was the only
basis for a classic art, rather than
getting stuck in other people's
classicism. That brought out the
rebel in her. She was no advocate
of formalism in defiance of
content. Like all great gurus she
was a fantastic storyteller as the
exhibits in this Gallery will
confirm. She lived in the 20th
century described by Brian
Appleyard of The Times as a
century obsessed with novelty for
its own sake and with the
formalities of technologies. But
Edna Manley seemed blessed with
the vision for the 21st century
which she was not to know but
with which she shared the
concern of "what kind of people
we are and not simply with what
we can do." This concern has long
informed Jamaican life and
particularly the life of our ordinary

Whatever may have been her
reservations about the banalities
of modern Christianity she
certainly grasped the significance
of its hold on her people and on
their art (as indeed on Western art)
especially with the idea of God's
incarnation in a Christ, an
"ordinary" man. From that
ordinariness, says a commentator,
"springs the entire western way of
making art."


Mari Larcon
I 0S.r/


The validity of one's own being
indeed takes logical priority over
all else. Without that validity -
fostered, facilitated, recognized
no society can be said to be civilised
and the artist who lives by this basic
law becomes as a result of its prime
importance to a society. Edna
Manley believed this deeply.

I love to share what she shared
with me in a letter back in 1968,
on art for art sake in a developing
nation. "What is a developing
country and what makes it
different?" she asked. "From the
beginning of time", she went on
"the battle has raged whether the
nation was young or old, art for
art's sake or for the sake of the
Royal House, or for the cause of
the people or for the aid of the
politician, or for the struggle of a
new idea?" She knew too well
that all such possibilities or
necessities were part of the
human enterprise. But as part of
the paradox of existence she
knew and insisted that despite all
such necessities, "deep in the
heart of it all the artist knows that
whether his art carries the burden
of a philosophy...or just sheer
technique...it is himself he is
expressing. And the load of
responsibility that he carries to
society, whether a dying or a
growing one, is the validity of his
own being".

We are here celebrating, then, a
memorial to one who as artist
has, from the validity of her own
being, helped in a seminal way to
make sense of our chaos, and to
give some rhyme and reason for our
individual and collective selves.


M y extended article on Edna Manley
written for Jamaica Journal in
1985 simply states that Edna was born
in 1900. In my book on Edna Manley,
published in 1990, after the artist's
death, I could be more precise and state
that she was born in the early minutes
of March 1st. This hesitancy and them
definitive statement only hint at a truly
heroic battle, one of the few real battles
that I had with Edna Manley, over the
actual date of her birthday which had
always been celebrated every four
years on leap day February 29th. The
date had taken on for the People's
National Party and its supporters an
almost mystical importance.
It was in 1979 while we were preparing for the
exhibition to be mounted to mark her eightieth
birthday that I went to see Edna armed with the
full explanation of the March I st date provided
to me by an expert on the Gregorian calendar.


Edna was not amused.
I rambled on... "you see Edna, the orbital period of the earth around the
sun is not actually 365 and a quarter days, it is 365 and point 242 days.
You see when Julius Caesar created the leap day to compensate for the
quarter day he was making an upward adjustment that was 11 minutes
and 14 seconds too long. The consequence was that we gained an extra
day every one hundred and thirty years... By 1852 we had gained 11
days which Pope Gregory 13 decided had to be removed from the
Calendar. And then Gregory, that's why we call it the Gregorian
calendar, got together with his astronomers and worked out that every
four hundred years we would have to drop three leap days. 1600 would
be a leap year, 2000 would be a leap year but, 1700, 1800 and your year
Edna, 1900, would not be leap years." If you are confused think of poor
Edna, who was hopeless with figures!

I remember her retort. "I don't care what your expert on Gregorian
calendars say. My 1900 had a leap day. I know because I was born on

In a calmer moment she compromised. "Dear, I can't face the PNP with
this news so after I'm gone, you can correct it."

Taken from David Boxer's speech at the opening of the Edna Manley
Galleries at the National Gallery, marking the centenary of the artist's
birth. The event was observed on March 1st 2000. Edna Manley died in



by Rupert Lewis

The philosophy that led
Barrington Watson to
undertake the paint-
ing of the 'Pan-
Africanists' has also
influenced his life's work. He
sums it up succinctly when he
told me that he has "always
thought the image of ourselves is
important to us so we must start
looking at ourselves and liking
ourselves." He added, if we can

respect the Pan-Africanists for
what they did for us we can look
at them and see they were
beautiful people and that there
is pride and elegance in each of
them." Barrington Watson has
done individual portraits of
each of the seventeen men and
women who make up the group
called the 'Pan-Africanists'
but the centre piece of the
'Pan-Africanists' is a large

composition of all of them. The
seventeen men and women were
selected from hundreds of
personalities and are drawn from
Africa and the African Diaspora.
These seventeen activists
struggled for the liberation of
Africa as well as for the abolition
of slavery, colonialism, apartheid
and all forms of racial
discrimination. The six from
Africa are Patrice Lumumba


(Congo), Jomo Kenyatta (Kenya),
Julius Nyerere (Tanzania), Kwame
Nkrumah (Ghana), Nelson
Mandela (South Africa) and
Emperor Haile Selassie (Ethiopia).
The African-Americans are Paul
Robeson, Muhammad Ali,
Frederick Douglass, Harriet
Tubman, Dr. W.E.B. DuBois,
Martin Luther King, Malcolm X
and Rosa Parks. Those from the
West Indian islands are Marcus
Garvey, C.L.R. James and
George Padmore. What these
men and women have in
common is that they fought the
system of white supremacy at
different stages of its national
and global manifestation and
have contributed to new ways of
thinking about how our lives can
be organized without reference
to systems of racial segregation.
In the background of this
painting is a map of the world
where the continent of Africa is
prominent. Too often people
refer to Africa as a single country
not realizing that there are some
55 countries with a continental
population estimated at over
748,000,000 people.' Africa is
over 30, 343,551 square
kilometres and could
comfortably hold China, Europe,
India, the United States,
Argentina and New Zealand. The
population of the African
Diaspora in the United States,
Latin America, Central America
and the Caribbean is estimated at
well over 230,000, 000 people
with Brazil having the largest
population of people of African
descent outside of Africa. i

These figures enable us to
understand aspects of the huge

area comprising Africa and the
Diaspora and the complex
cultural diversity this geogra-
phy represents. The positioning
of each person in the 'Pan-
Africanists' is done deliberately
and is influenced by geography,

time and character.



Garvey's Universal Negro
Improvement Association and
African Communities League
had over 1000 divisions in
Africa, the United States,
Central America and the
Caribbean in its heyday in the
1920s. Watson's favorite
personality is Marcus Garvey
and he has brought a fresh
perspective to the image we
have of Garvey. Marcus Garvey
whose impact on twentieth
century Pan-Africanism was so
immense is out in front looking
to the future in his three-piece
suit and possesses what Watson
calls a very self-assured
character. Nearby is Kwame
Nkrumah in traditional kente
cloth listening to Nelson
Mandela. Malcolm X is
pointing at Martin Luther King
and C.L.R. James, Rosa Parks
and George Padmore are
listening. The talented singer,
sportsman, linguist and
freedom fighter, Paul Robeson,
the great boxer Muhammed Ali
who defied the draft and
refused to fight in Vietnam and
three personalities born in the
nineteenth century, Frederick
Douglass, Harriet Tubman and
Dr. W.E.B. DuBois complete
the grouping.

Marcus Garvey had a signifi-
cant influence on Kwame
Nkrumah who led the struggle




that brought Ghana to
independence in 1957 and also
on Jomo Kenyatta who led
Kenya to independence in 1963.
Kenya and Ghana had been
British colonies. Emperor Haile
Selassie is a symbol of African
royalty in a world where
European royalty held sway over
much of the world's peoples.
Moreover the biblical impor-
tance of Ethiopia gave the

.Ij :

Emperor a special place in the
prophetic doctrines of Rastafari.
Patrice Lumumba is the least
well known of these African
patriots. He fought for the
independence of the Congo from
Belgian rule and he was
assassinated in January 1961.
Julius Nyerere led Tanzania to
independence in 1961 and played
a major role in assisting the
liberation of Southern Africa
from colonial rule and apartheid.
He also assisted in settling
military disputes and in
providing refuge for exiles from
other African states subject to
tyrannical rule and genocide.
Nelson Mandela is among the
best known as in the 1990s he
emerged from 27 years of
imprisonment by the apartheid
regime to become President of
South Africa on the basis of
majority rule.

The eight African-Americans
chosen bear testimony to
the tough anti-slavery
struggles that took place in the
19th century slavery and the
equally difficult battles fought in
the twentieth century for human
and civil rights. Harriet Tubman,
who was born a slave, was
responsible for organizing and
leading some "18 expeditions
into the slaving states, personally
guiding at least 300 people to
safety in Canada." She was part
of what became known as the
underground railway and it was
responsible for some 100,000
slaves escaping between 1830
and 1860. Frederick Douglass
himself escaped from slavery
and became one of the most
prominent African-American


leaders of the 19th century.
His memoir Narrative of
the Life of Frederick
Douglass is still widely
read and studied. Dr.
W.E.B. DuBois is one of
the great scholars of the
Twentieth Century who
pioneered the modern
study of Africa, slavery and
reconstruction in the
United States as well as the
sociology of black life. He also
organized several Pan-African
conferences. Martin Luther King
is well known as the leader of the
civil rights movement in the
United States in the 1950s and
1960s before he was cut down by
an assassin's bullet in 1968.
Malcolm X's story begins with
his parents Louise Norton, a
Grenadian by birth, and Earl
Little who met at a conference of
Marcus Garvey's Universal


S11 '1 V

Negro Improvement Association
in Montreal. Earl Little was to be
murdered by white racists in
Omaha, Nebraska. Malcolm's
conversion to the Nation of Islam
and his founding of the
Organization of Afro-American
Unity has been narrated in his
autobiography. Rosa Parks is
famous for her refusal to get up
and give up her seat on a bus to a
white man in 1955. She said 'My
feet are tired' and defied





There are three West Indians
and we have already
commented on Marcus Garvey.
The other two are the
Trinidadians, C.L.R. James and
George Padmore who spent
many years in the United States
and Britain and were active in
the Pan-Africanist movement.
C.L.R. James is known today
through his writings especially
Black Jacobins, his classic study
of the Haitian revolution and
Beyond a Boundary, his study of
cricket and modern society.
George Padmore worked with
the Communist International and
broke with it in the 1930s setting
up an independent network of
anti-colonial resistance in
Europe and Africa.
his work has been long in
the making. Its genesis
goes back to a 1973
painting that Barrington Watson
did when he was a Visiting Art
Professor at Spelman College in
Atlanta, Georgia which was also
called the Pan-Africanists. At the
time he did not know enough
about Pan-Africanism and over
the years he read and became
better informed. He returned to
the idea six years ago and
immersed himself in research
and travelling to study the lives of
his subjects and in 1999 the
paintings were completed. The
research that he did helped him
to shape the character of each
personality. He strove to develop
the essential character of each
personality and not to do
photographic representations. As
Barrington Watson said,
'Selassie looks like the Emperor
that he was and Garvey the


arrogant person that he was. So
convinced he was about his ideas."
Malcolm X in Watson's inter-
pretation has a certain kind of
aggression with Martin Luther
King occupying a firm stance with
his arms folded listening with
There is a companion book also
entitled "The Pan-Africanists"
prepared by Ian Randle

Publishers of Kingston, Jamaica
and published by Africa World
Press of New Jersey, USA.
Dudley Thompson, former
Jamaican Foreign Minister and
distinguished lawyer was the
most important resource person,
as he knew all of Watson's
subjects except Harriet Tubman
and Frederick Douglass.
Thompson defended Jomo
Kenyatta in the 1950s during the
anti-colonial uprising against
British rule, he was also a personal
friend of Kwame Nkrumah, and he
attended the famous 5th Pan-
African Congress in Manchester,
England organised by George
Padmore. At that Congress Dr.
W.E.B. DuBois was declared the
father of Pan-Africanism.
Thompson's life has intersected
with the other individuals in his
personal capacity as Jamaica's
leading Pan-Africanist and as his
country's Foreign Minister in the
1970s. In the book there are
reproductions of each portrait
and a biographical essay
enlivened by Thompson' s
personal observations. The
foreword to the book is by Kofi
Annan, Secretary General of the
United Nations.
B arrington Watson is
determined that Jamaican
children will see this
painting and be able to learn
about these personalities who
have done so much to reshape
our world. A large print
reproduction of the Pan-
Africanists is to be distributed to
all Jamaican schools and the
George Beckford Foundation has
funded this area of the project. A
copy of the book is to be placed in
all school libraries courtesy of the
Bank of Nova Scotia. The project
has been co-ordinated by Mrs.

Diane Watson, wife of Barrington
Watson, who runs the
Contemporary Arts Centre.

The "Pan-Africanists" was
launched in Kingston at the
Bank of Jamaica auditorium on
July 7th 1999 with messages
from the Rt. Honourable P.J.
Patterson, Prime Minister of
Jamaica, the late Dr. Julius
Nyerere, and Muhammad Ali.
Guest speaker was Dr. Julius
Garvey, son of Marcus Garvey.
Since then the exhibition has
been to Los Angeles in
September 1999 and to Atlanta
for Black History Month in
February 2000. On February 6th,
2000, Mr. Bill Campbell, Mayor
of the City of Atlanta declared
February 6th', 2000 Barrington
Watson Day. The Office of the
President of Spelman College
and the Auburn Avenue
Research Library sponsored the
exhibition. CNN has prepared a
documentary on the exhibition
and Barrington Watson's work.
The exhibition will next be
moving to New York,
Washington, the Zimbabwe
Book Fair in August. Plans are
being made for a South Africa
and Ethiopian exhibits.

Barrington Watson is hard at
work on his next project entitled
'Africa and the Diaspora.' His
artistic vision of the Caribbean
and the wider Africa Diaspora is
an important contribution to our
national and global education.
i See John Reader. 1999. Africa A
Biography of the Continent. Vintage
Books. New York.
ii See Kwame Anthony Appiah and Henry
Louis Gates, Jr., Editors 1999. Africana
The Encyclopedia of the African and
African American Experience. Basic.
Civitas Books.



Fred Cassidy
1907 2000

professor Frederick Gomes Cassidy,
the celebrated Jamaican-born
linguist, passed away in Wisconsin,
USA on Wednesday, June 14, 2000 at the
age of 93.
The son of a Jamaican mother and an
Irish-American father, Fred Cassidy spent
his early years on the island and attended
Jamaica College for a short while. He
learned the local vernacular like other
Jamaican youngsters and developed a
life-long fascination with it. His Jamaica
Talk, first published through the Institute
of Jamaica in 1961 (and later reprinted in
1972) provides a wealth of information
about the Jamaican vocabulary and its
interrelationship with the island's social
This was followed in 1967 by The
Dictionary of Jamaican English (2nd
edition 1980), produced in collaboration
with Professor Robert LePage. His
fieldwork for both these publications was
facilitated by two Fulbright Fellowships
which enabled him to spend a year on the
island as Visiting Fellow at the University
College of the West Indies, first in 1951 and
later in 1958.
Professor Cassidy was awarded the
Institute of Jamaica's Musgrave Silver
Medal in 1962, its Centenary Medal in
1980 and the Musgrave Gold Medal in 1983
for his work in etymology. The University of
the West Indies conferred on him the
Honorary Degree of D. Litt in 1984.
He was a founder- member and the first
President of the Society for Caribbean
Linguistics which was formed in 1972.
He attended almost all of its biennial
conferences, more than any other member

and was an enthusiastic participant, not
only in scholarly sessions, but also in
the social events which usually followed
them. The Society, of which he had long
since been elected an honorary Life
Member, paid special tribute to him at
its last conference in St. Lucia in 1998.
His achievements, however, extended
beyond the Caribbean. In 1938, he was
appointed Professor of English at the
University of Wisconsin (Madison). He
served as President of the American
Dialect Society from 1959 61 and of
the American Name Society in 1980. He
was also the recipient of Honorary
Degrees from various North American
His chief claim to fame outside the
Caribbean, however, is his role as Chief
Editor of the Dictionary of American
Regional English since 1965. This
enterprise has involved methodical
investigation of social and regional
differences in English throughout the
entire United States. Three of the
projected six volumes have appeared
and work is proceeding on Volume IV.
Professor Cassidy never forgot his
island home. He visited Jamaica on
vacation whenever he could, the last
occasion being just over a year ago.
With his passing, the island has lost not
only the services of a distinguished
scholar, but also a proud and devoted
son who lived life to the full.
Dr. Pauline Christie, Dept. of Language,
Linguistics and Philosophy, UWI Mona






The Donations of Aaron

and Marjorie Matalon

T his year I celebrate
my cighnit l h binih i da0y.
and eighty years as
well of being a
Jamaican intimately involved in the
development of this wonderful if at
times, exasperating country. It has
been eighty years ofgleaning constant
delightfrom the wonders and beauties
of this land and our people.
Among the very special joys for
me has been the observance and
participation (as collector,
patron and most recently as
Chairman of the National
Gallery) in the development of
Jamaican art. Warm friendships
with Edna Manley, Cecil Baugh,

Colin Garland, Barrington
Watson, Susan Alexander,
Maria LaYacona, Judy-Ann
MacMillan and many others
have been special to me, as
special as the true delight I
receive from looking at,
collecting and living with the
products of these unique artists.
My working relationship with
Dr David Boxer, the board and
staff of the National Gallery has
been a special pleasure for me
over the past seven years. I have
great faith in this institution and
faith too that it will continue well
into the next millennium to be a

vibrant conservator and stimulator
of our visual arts tradition.

I take great delight therefore in
celebrating this anniversary in
my life by joining with my wife
Marjorie in presenting these
works to the National Gallery of
Jamaica to be held in trust for the
people of Jamaica.
Finally, I must express how
special an honour it is to have the
Prime Minister, The Rt Hon.
Percival James Patterson
receive, on behalf of the people
of Jamaica, these Gifts for the

Aaron Matalon


With this simple
A a r o n
Matalon, on
Behalf of
himself and his wife Marjorie,
turned over to the National
Gallery a collection of art, which
in sheer numbers was equivalent
to the collection utilised by the
Institute of Jamaica to establish
the National Gallery in 1974.
This extraordinary act of
generosity was celebrated by a
mammoth exhibition, consid-
erably larger than any exhibition
ever staged by the National

In the catalogue's introduction,
the Chief Curator of the National
Gallery, Dr David Boxer
recounted Aaron Matalon's
association with the Gallery and
gave a brief history of Mr
Matalon's donations to the
National Gallery's collection.
Prior to 1987, a single work
Edna Manley's Journey, had
been acquired with Mr Matalon's
assistance. Then in 1987, after
the death of Edna Manley, a
foundation honouring the
pioneer artist was formed with
Aaron Matalon as chairman.
Later, in 1991, Aaron Matalon
was named Chairman of the
National Gallery itself, and from
these two key positions was able
to move from "witness" to a true
collaborator in the growth of the
Gallery's collections. Along with
Dr Boxer, he initiated the
formation of the Edna Manley
Memorial Collection and to date
his donation of nine works (three
sculptures, including the fine
1930 mahogany carving Adam
and Eve, and the 1971 Woman,
two watercolours and four
drawings) to that collection,
remains the most substantial by

any donor. It should be noted too
that as chairman of the
Foundation, Mr Matalon
spearheaded a bronzing project
to safeguard those works of the
artist which had not been
translated into a "final" material,
and ensured that a cast of each of
the works so produced was
deposited in the National

Other important donations
followed. In the 1987 National
Exhibition, after the Gallery's
acquisition committee had
identified Gloria Escoffery's
Mirage as a major work which it
wished to own, Mr Matalon
provided the funds to purchase
the work. He also acquired at the
Gallery's urging, Prudence
Lovell's huge drawing Red Street
III, and Intuitive master, David
Miller Snr's highly important
Talisman. The Miller was
presented along with Edna
Manley's bronze Moses, Karl
Parboosingh's Mechanical
Abstraction and Lawrence
Edward's Rapture on the
occasion of the National
Gallery's twentieth anniversary.
Mr Matalon also contributed
funds towards the purchase of
other important works such as
Edna Manley's first wood
carving Wisdom, and Osmond
Watson's monumental painting
Jah Lives.

Cognizant of Mr Matalon's
special interest in Jamaica's
eighteenth and nineteenth
century traditions, Dr Boxer in
1997 approached him with the

idea of creating an eighteenth
and nineteenth century
topographical collection for the
National Gallery which, the Chief
Curator proposed, would be called
the Aaron Matalon Topographical
Collection. This collection, it was
felt, should include an
introductory group of Jamaican
maps. Mr Matalon readily agreed
and the collection was begun
with the first purchase, the
spectacular four-part Robertson
map of 1804. Other important
map and print purchases
including four pristine aquatints
by Hakewill from his
Picturesque Tour of the Island of
Jamaica, followed. Then Mr
Matalon began adding eighteenth
and nineteenth century works
from his own private collection.
These included two recently
purchased Schroeter
watercolours; the six famous
views of the Beckford estates by
George Robertson; the five views
of Kingston by Joseph
Bartholomew Kidd as well as
Kidd's view of Rio Bueno. A group
of West Indian views followed as
well as a suite of fourteen
lithographs chronicling the role
of the Diamond Rock in West
Indian naval history.

By 1998, however, Mr. Matalon
decided to abandon the idea of
limiting to topographical works
the collection which he would
donate to the National Gallery
and to assemble from his own
collection and by additional
purchases some through recent
auctions such as those of the
Stephen and Dorothy Hill


' '~ll~l~l 'I;.11 ~llll- I I I. l~lr l
is IE

Collection and the Eagle
Collection works of all types
and from all periods, as long as
they were of Jamaican or of
Caribbean interest.

It is this expanded collection
(which eventually numbered
well over 250 works) which was
presented to the nation on
October 3rd, 1999 and which the
Prime Minister, the Hon. P.J.
Patterson accepted on behalf of
the nation. As Dr Boxer
remarked at the opening of the
exhibition of the collection,
"they join the works already
donated by the Matalons over
the past twelve years for this
special showing Gifts for the
Nation, which we present in
exhibition with the belief that
this is truly one of the most
generous acts of philanthropy in
our nation's history."

In the catalogue of the
exhibition, the funding for which
was also provided by Aaron
Matalon, the donated collection
was divided into nine major
categories and presented each
with lead essays by Dr Boxer
and other scholars of Jamaican

In his essay on the printed maps,
Dr Boxer notes that the Matalon
group of printed maps, which are
the first maps to enter the
National Gallery Collection,
attempts through selected
examples to show the evolving
status of the mapped image of
Jamaica. The earliest work is the
very first printed map of
Jamaica, the Bordone first
published in Venice in 1528,
only thirty-four years after
Columbus' arrival on the island.
A fanciful depiction, the outlines
of the Bordone bear virtually no


relationship to the reality with
which we are now very familiar.
The principal information which
the map conveys is the
mountainous nature of the
terrain and Jamaica's
approximate relationship to our
neighbours. Other important
early maps include the
Porcacchi, from L'Isole piut
famose del Mondo published in
Venice in 1576, the Ogilby,
important as one of the earliest
and most important maps to be
drawn during the English
possession of the island, and the
Seutter of 1730 which offers one
of the most elaborate and
beautiful cartouches in Jamaican

The latest item in the collection
is the 1804 set of four maps of
Jamaica by James Robertson, the
result of extensive new surveys
ordered by the House of
Assembly. Robertson was paid
handsomely for his monumental
task and produced a map for
each of the counties as well as a
single map of the entire island.

This section of the Matalon
Donation now places the
National Gallery's Pre-Twentieth
Century Collection on much
firmer footing. In the past the
Gallery's survey of Jamaica and
the regions eighteenth and
nineteenth century traditions
relied heavily on loans from the
National Library. With the
Matalon donation the National
Gallery will be able to re-open
the pre-Twentieth Century
Gallery using material entirely
from its own collection.

Among the highlights of the
eighteenth-century works is a
recently restored drawing by L.
Robins, who as Rosalie Smith
McCrea points out, may very
well have been the first to
practice the topographical
tradition in Jamaica. In the
1970s David Boxer had
demonstrated clear links
between Robins' drawings

Benedetto Bordone
From Isolario, Venice, 1528. 14.5 x 8cm
- Maria LaYacona

located in the National Library
(and later the drawing of Don
Christopher's Cove now in the
Matalon Collection) with the six
published so-called "Spillsbury
Prints" of Harbours of Jamaica
(1766-70), allowing us to
attribute the Spillsbury Prints to
Robins. The group of six
Spillsbury prints is the first
topographical cycle in early
Jamaican prints. This cycle was
followed by the more well-
known Robertson cycle, again of
six prints. These were based on
six paintings, all views of
Beckford estates, produced
when Robertson travelled to
Jamaica in Beckford's company
during the mid 1770s. As
McCrea points out, the two
engravings of Roaring River
and Fort William are of special
interest as they depict details of
the sugar works and varied
elements of eighteenth century
British West Indian plantation
architecture. The Matalon
donation contains the full cycle.

Two extremely rare watercolour
views by John Schroeter, a
plantation surveyor who had
served as Captain at Fort
Balcarres in Falmouth, are
among recent purchases of
Aaron Matalon which joined the
donation. Rosalie McCrea
suggests that they were created
as pendants. They show
Petersfield estate in a working
mode (A North View) and in a
more aesthetic mode (An East

"The first describes the
workings of the estate
showing how the land was
divided into plots. The slave
quarters, the huts shaded by
palm trees and their
vegetable gardens (provision
grounds) are clearly visible.

A number of slaves cut cane
in the centre foreground.
The bundles are collected
and carted by mule or ox-
cart. The mill, boiling-house
and curing sheds are also
visible. In the second view,
the artist was more interested
in portraying the bucolic, the
more serene aspect of
plantation culture. Slaves are
observed hoeing for the next
planting season. A woman
with child walking along the
way, a shepherd or
"swain" herding cattle are
elements taken from the
British Picturesque tradition
and mentioned for instance in
William Beckford's writings."
(Rosalie Smith McCrea)

Also from the eighteenth century
are lithographs (two are hand-
coloured) by Agostino Brunias
of scenes in Barbados and
Dominica. Brunias delighted in
depicting the social customs of
the slave, free-coloured
population and the white planter
class alike, and paid great
attention to variations in skin-
colour and depictions of the
exotic costumes of the women.

J.B. Kidd's publication in serial
form of fifty views of Jamaica
was the most important
nineteenth century topographical
cycle undertaken in the island
and perhaps in the entire West
Indies. McCrea points out that
Kidd, according to his
"Prospectus", wished to redress
the imbalance of picture-making
that had, in his time stressed
picturesque views from India,
China and Canada, whereas the
"superb and picturesque scenery
of the West Indies is
comparatively unknown in the
land that peopled it." Of the
"Kidds" presented the sub-group
of four views of Kingston "from
the Commercial Rooms" is
particularly important.

The Matalon donation includes
all six of the rare Baptist Chapel
series. These lithographs were
executed by lithographers in


London, and were published, it is
believed in the 1840s, to
commemorate through their
chapels Baptist preachers who
were specially associated with
the abolitionist movement.
McCrea points out that some of
these chapels had been destroyed
in the slave uprisings of the early
1830s and had been rebuilt
between 1836 and 1839. Of
special note, she adds, are the
prints of Burchell's chapel in
Montego Bay and Knibb's in
Falmouth as vigilante groups had
torn down the former and
Knibb's chapel was destroyed by
the militia.

Among the nineteenth-century
West Indian works, pride of place
must go to the extended cycle of
fourteen prints Picturesque
Views of the Diamond Rock by a
little known artist John Eckstein
who was commissioned by Sir
Samuel Hood, the British naval
commander, to record a unique
naval engagement in the
Leeward Islands during the
Napoleonic Wars. The cycle
illustrates the establishment of
batteries on Diamond Rock, a
maneuver which assisted the
British in gaining naval
superiority in the region.

Most of the professional
photographs presented by the
Matalons are mounted in a late
19th century album assembled
in the last decade of the century.
Twenty-two of the photographs
are by the Scottish firm of James
Valentine and Son, while twenty
are by the Jamaican firm of A.
Duperly and Son.

In the Valentine survey of
Jamaica, landscapes predom-
inate, but there are a fair share of
images that document the lives
of working class Jamaicans. Few
of these grace this particular
album, but there is a fine print of
women washing clothes as well
as a print of one of the most
famous "portraits" in the
Valentine survey, an idyll of a
young man, one of the servants
of the Cherry Garden Great
House, reclining on the edge of a
fountain, his straw hat beside
him filled with oranges. All the
remaining photographs are most
likely by the pioneering
Jamaican firm of A Duperly &
Sons, most dating from the early
1890s when Armand Duperly,
eldest son of Adolphe Duperly
was in charge of the firm.

To : Catrih (publs her)

c 18 U lithograph,

181 Photoraph 15.5 x 22, cm, or


Mari La
Aa at

SB 055
Seenu toe
siv rpit

Included are some of the firm's
most famous views such as those
of Bog Walk, Newcastle, Castleton
Gardens and Port Antonio.

Twentieth Century Jamaican
photography is represented by
eight works by Maria LaYacona.
Six of these are original prints that
accompany the deluxe edition
of the photographer's recently
published Jamaica Portraits:
1955-1998. Of special note is the
independent "environmental
portrait"of Aaron Matalon, placing
him in the context of a historic
Jamaican edifice which
symbolises much of his spiritual
and cultural grounding, the
Synagogue Share Shalom in

The largest part of the donation,
some one hundred and fifty works,
is devoted to twentieth century
Jamaican art. This part of the
collection is characterized by
special concentrations of artists
that Aaron and Marjorie Matalon
particularly admire, notably Edna

Manley and Barrington Watson,
and by clearly concerted efforts
to ensure a fair representation of
acknowledged masters by
important single works or by
small groupings. There are also
works deliberately included to fill
perceived "gaps" in the existing
National Gallery Collection and
groupings of lesser known artists
who continue the indigenist
traditions of the pioneers in
updated versions.

The Manley group boasts four
sculptures: the wood relief Adam
and Eve (1930), a masterwork of
the artists early neo-classical
period; the first maquette for the
Bogle monument; the wood
carving Woman, one of the so-
called Mourning series and a
bronze cast of the 1965 sculpture
of Moses. The six Manley
drawings span the years 1940 to
1965, and include a very rare
1940 drawing The Dispossessed
an exemplifying a brief stylistic
excursion where the artist linked
extreme linearity to poverty.
"... it is easy to see why it is
near impossible to challenge
the convention that modern
Jamaican art began with Edna
Manley. That she was born in


Edna Manley
Adam and Eve
1930 Wood Relief,
82 x 112 cm
- Maria LaYacona

England, albeit to a Jamaican mother,
certainly contributed to her artistic
outlook but her role in the articulation of
a national Jamaican aesthetic was
fundamental. Although much of Edna
Manley's work is overtly political, the
autobiographical overtones in works
such as Adam and Eve and Moses
(1965) illustrate that the personal was as
important to her as the political."
(Veerle Poupeye)

Barrington Watson is represented by seven
paintings including three portraits of
prominent Jamaicans. The portrait of
Norman Manley joins the gallery's other
depiction by Vera Alabaster, while that of
Bustamante joins a seldomly displayed
depiction by Corah Eaton. The portrait of
Barbara Manley is a fine work which David
Boxer suggests "through the circumstances
of the sitter's tragic death and her
connection to another Jamaican icon,
Michael Manley, will accrue extra-pictorial
attributes and will achieve celebrity status.
In time it, like Huie's Market Vendor, may
well become an icon of Jamaican woman-
hood and beauty."

Of the larger Barrington works, the
landscape is particularly welcome as it is the
first landscape by Barrington to enter the
National Gallery's collection. It is a spare,
classical view of the Jamaican countryside,
with a white-light filled drama of clouds.

Barrington's large Fishing Village (1996)
attempts to recapture the glories of the
monumental The Catch of 1981, and in part
succeeds. Dispensing with the sense of
grandeur of the earlier version, imparted by
the classical Raphael-like disposition of
figures and the restricted palette, Barrington
has attempted a new composition, a more
modern complex of figures. He has also
employed a richer, more dynamic palette,
resulting in a dazzling, chromatic display.

Most of the other essentially realist (and
surrealist) artists who have achieved any
sort of national recognition are included by
works which, although not always of their
very best, convey the essentials of their
particular styles. In certain cases such as
Ralph Campbell, Gloria Escoffery, Albert

199 06 Oi oncna,18x29c


Huie, David Pottinger and Osmond Watson, care was
taken to include both early and late or recent works and
in the case of Colin Garland, often mistakenly thought of
as a miniaturist, a special effort was made to acquire
larger "gallery-scaled" examples; the large mural, Venus
Reliquary, being particularly impressive. Two important
Carl Abrahams paintings from the eighties were, on the
Gallery's advice, secured from the recent Hill and Eagle
"The two paintings by Abrahams in the Matalon
Collection, both recently acquired from
distinguished collections are fine examples and assist
in furthering our exposition of this many-sided
artist. As one of our foremost religious painters,
Abrahams despite his Jewish ancestry (or perhaps
because of it?) repeatedly returns to the life of Christ.
To anecdotal narratives like the "I Must Be About My
Father's Business" and to iconic narratives like t h e
Ascension and the Last Supper are now added the
monumental head of Christ with its remarkable sense
of characterization." (David Boxer)

The difficulty in obtaining works from what the curators
consider the "key" periods of certain artists, or in the case
of an artist like Christopher Gonzalez by his principal
medium, sculpture, have resulted in these artists not
being represented in the Matalon collection by ideal or
"typical" works. Also, certain "realist" artists such as
Leslie Clerk, Ronald Moody, Namba Roy, and Henry
Daley who are admired by the Matalons and whose
works were actively sought, are absent simply because of


the unavail-ability of works on
the market at this time.

The earlier expressions of
Jamaican abstraction present in
the collection, works such as
Karl Parboosingh's Mechanical
Abstraction and Galina, David
Boxer's Fiir Ludwig, Seya
Parboosingh's Vestibule, Eugene
Hyde's bold untitled work of
1965 ( the last two acquired at
the Gallery's urging) and late
works by Karl Craig, Seya and
George Rodney suggest the
limits to which Aaron Matalon
accepts and embraces experi-
mentation and innovation. The
avant garde work of artists like
Hope Brooks, Petrona Morrison,
Margaret Chen, Omari Ra,
Khalfani Ra, Nicholas Morris
and others is totally absent.
The respectable but hardly
extensive Intuitive grouping is
headed by an unusual Dunkley,
and by David Miller Snr's
masterpiece Talisman (this had
been on extended loan to the
National Gallery for nearly 20
years and was acquired, to
safeguard the gallery's interest,
by the Matalons in 1994) and by
a particularly fine Kapo painting.
Not customarily drawn to artists
creating outside of the traditions of
Western academi-cism, Mr
Matalon has developed a healthy
respect for the work of Kapo and
the genre-like aspects of other
Intuitives, especially Tabois.

Of the Kapo sub-group, all three
sculptures by the master are
rarities and worthy additions to
the collection, but it is the sole
painting by Kapo, Happiness in
Mango Walk, which is
particularly welcome.
"The sole Kapo painting,
offering a magnificent
panoply of richly bearing
mango trees (note the visual
puns on the heart shaped

CalAbrhm Chis

-M ra - 9 -

Kar aboIMg
066. S
1976 Oi on masn

mangoes!) and eager
participants in a planned
mango feast, is a
masterpiece. It was one of the
gems in the fine group of
Kapo paintings in the
collection of Stephen Hill
and was acquired from the
1998 auction of the Hill
Collection." (David Boxer)
A special component of the
twentieth-century collection is
the fine group of twelve
ceramics by most of the major
practitioners in the medium.
Norma Harrack, one of our
leading ceramicists (she is
represented in the collection by
four stellar pieces) in her
introduction to the Jamaican
ceramics in the collection
characterises Jamaica's tradition
as "[evolving] from the rich
pottery legacy of the Arawak
Indians richly augmented by
succeeding West African cultures
interwoven with English studio


pottery." "Today", she continues,
"our ceramics is distinguished
by a sophisticated level of
aesthetics. Our contemporary
potters transcend traditional
form and technique to create
works of genuine signif-icance,
by their new interpre-tations of
old techniques and styles giving
fresh expression to long-
standing craft traditions."
Harrack commends the Matalon
collection for "[bringing]
together the work of eight clay
artists with a variety of styles
and from different individual
aesthetic motivations. The
acquisition of ceramics to this
important collection is a
consequence of the collector's
mindfulness that ceramics
addresses the issues, ideas and
contains the emotional content
to be found in other contem-
porary art. The focus of the work
is toward pieces that represent
the vessel-related tradition, a
tradition steeped in our ceramic
movement, perhaps due to the
Leach/Baugh influence on the
local potting community."

One of the more interesting
aspects of the Modem collection
presented was the inclusion of
artists hitherto not represented in


the National Gallery's core
collection. Thus works by Owen
Beckford, Marcia Biggs, Joanna
Brasch, Sara Clunis, Keith
Curwin, Lancelot Fearon, T.V.
Ferguson, Joe James, Lutalo
Makonzi, Milton Messam,
Herbie Rose, Kacey Shay, Ken
Abendana Spencer, Roberta
Stoddart, Anthony Wilson, Peter
Cave and David Pinto entered the
National Collection for the first

Because of the diverse nature of
the collection as a whole, the
Matalon donations will not be
housed in their own gallery but
will be integrated into the various
collections of the National
Gallery. The process has already
begun: the ten Edna Manley
works are now on permanent
display in the Edna Manley
Galleries opened on March 1st to
mark the centenary of the artist's
birth; the ceramic works will
allow the National Gallery to re-
open the Cecil Baugh Gallery of
Ceramics without its usual heavy
reliance on loans from the
Hardingham Collection; the pre-
Twentieth Century galleries will
be redesigned later this year and
will incorporate a large number
of the 18th and 19th century works
from the Matalon Collection;

many of the twentieth century
works will be incorporated into
the gallery's ten-room survey of
modern Jamaican art, while
others will be utilised in
changing displays titled
"Selections from the Aaron and
Marjorie Matalon Collection"
which will periodically be
mounted in one of the temporary
gallery spaces.

The Education Department of
the National Gallery

For more detailed information
on this collection an illustrated
catalogue is available at the
National Gallery.

NomS arc
Tetl mpeso


"Island Voices has
given the writers an
opportunity to
practice their craft by
redeeming and
themselves in a new
cultural context".

island Voices, an interna-
tional writers exchange
programme, was born out of
an attempt to create a cross
cultural community of
writers from the East Midlands
and the Caribbean. It was
conceived initially by Martin
Glynn, himself of Jamaican
parentage a poet living in
Derby. Glynn former member of
the board of the East Midlands
Arts Council, sold the idea to the
Council, who saw it both as an
opportunity to give a concrete
voice to that part of their
constituency with West Indian
roots, and, through literature, to
integrate the work of literary
artists in the East Midlands and
the Caribbean. Glynn had first
conceived the idea during a visit
to Jamaica where he was
impressed with the vibrancy of
Jamaica's literary scene at the
beginning of the 90's.

The Institute of Jamaica,
introduced to the Island Voices
concept by the British Council in
1993, was attracted by the
opportunity to develop its
commitment to literature and the
potential for writers workshops
to involve rural communities.
The project was managed at its
outset from the Institute's
Development Office, primarily
as an outreach project.

The structure of the project was
simple: two established writers
from the East
Midlands would ini-
tially visit Jamaica
for twelve weeks,
with a return visit of
two Jamaican writers
following this
period. Fully funded through a
bursary, the writers of the first
exchange were expected in the
first instance to practise their
own craft; but they were
expected through structured
workshops, readings, and
informal encounters to foster
interaction with Jamaican
writers. It was hoped that there
would be a cross-fertilization,
and mutual stimulation. The first
two writers arrived in late

Oif JdPIrTdlg
or janaic


TIN'KJMT lrlKl 13 I997
7.00 PfA

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September 1993 Annie Dalton
an English writer of children's
fiction, and Wolde Selassie, a
poet, born in Dominica and
living in Leicester. They
conducted workshops and held
readings not only in Kingston,

but also in Savanna-La-Mar,
Mandeville, Montego Bay, Ocho
Rios and in Port Antonio. The
Institute of Jamaica was ably
supported by a network which
included the Phillip Sherlock
Centre, the Jamaica Library Service,
the UWI School of Continuing
Studies, and the Jamaica Cultural
Development Commission.
Stafford Ashani, playwright and
filmmaker and Mbala, poet/
musician were the first Jamaican


writers to travel to the East
Midlands Arts Council in Spring
1994. They were integrated into
the literature programmes of the
East Midlands Arts Council, and
in particular into the cultural life
of the West Indian communities
in Nottingham, Leicester, and

The programme very quickly
transcended the literary genre, as
the writers used the opportunity
to experiment with their own
forms and to essay into new areas
of readings/ performances.
They were joined by other
artists from other art forms.
What begun as a literary
exchange had become a
cultural exchange in the fullest
sense. What was also created
was an Island Voices family a
network of artists, cultural agents
and administrators, who lived,
worked and played together,
sharing physical and intellectual
spaces, sharing ideas and honing
their craft together.

Based on the success of Island
Voices I, the East Midlands Arts
Council sought funding from
UNESCO for the first renewal of
the project in 1996/97. This first
renewal of the programme was
administered directly through
Broadwords, the literature
development agency based in
Nottingham. The writers from
the Caribbean who travelled to
England were Russell Watson, a
young Barbadian graduate in
Drama from the Edna Manley
College for the Visual and
Performing Arts in Jamaica and
Melvina Hazard, a poet, who by

profession was an advertising
accounts executive from
Trinidad. Their residency too
consisted of workshops, readings
and performances, and for each
their first opportunity to
continuing their own work full
time. Richard Pinner and Chester
Morrison from the East Midlands
came to Jamaica in January 1997,
visiting Trinidad for two weeks
in February before returning to
Jamaica to complete their
residency here. The final event at
the Amphitheatre of the Edna

celebration of writing, with
increased emphasis placed on
performance. Resoundingly suc-
cessful, Cherry Natural, describes
the experience as: "... [an interaction]
with other writers ... from the very
first day I met them. We
communicated and shared different
cultural backgrounds and personal
experiences... The Directors took
their jobs seriously .... there was
good audience participation and
they were always receptive..."

I n o sm'y ics -na

cultural agelnt
live., wrk e ani plaIyed

Manley College, brought
together not only the four artists
of Island Voices II but also the
two Jamaican artists of Island
Voices I in a gala celebration of
the literary and performing arts.

The sponsorship base of the
project was widened in 1999,
when Island Voices 111 got off the
ground. At this juncture the East
Midlands Arts joined forces with
the University of Loughborough,
De Monffort University and with
funding from the European
Union. As a direct result of this,
Ireland and Iceland islands
within the EU became a part of
the project, with one Jamaican
dub poet Marcia Wedderburn
who uses the nom de lettre:
Cherry Natural. The East
Midlands phase of Island Voices
III was captioned an international

Despite the peculiarity of her
genre, she had twice as many
bookings as her counterparts Aris
Ibsen, Sara Maitland and Adrian
Kenny, who were from Iceland,
the United Kingdom and Ireland

These writers are all full time
professional writers, having
several publications to their

The Jamaican leg of the Island
Voices III is scheduled to take
place in late Spring 2000. One
writer from Europe will join the
Island Voices family here in the
renewal of a project which has
become an integral part of the
Institute of Jamaica's
programmes and Jamaica's
literary calendar.


Be You
Dem give yu a Costume
Dat is not your size
And yu punish yu self to get into it
Tell yu who yu be
Interpret what yu see
What to eat, what to drink
What to think
How to walk, how to talk
How to fix yu hair, what to wear
Yu too fat, yu too slim
Yu too white, yu too black
Yu too tall, yu too short
Yu too salt, yu need a bath.

When dem dun wid yu
Yu is any professional idiot.
Nyam everything yu see cos yu hate yu body
Depression, No Motivation, No Self esteem
You reality get crush caan manifest yu dreams
Self doubt stand up inna yu way like any iron bar.

Yu desires, yu compassion, yu consciousness
And inferior complex is at War
One piece of war
Dem tun yu and dem twist
Dem fold yu and dem rap yu
Dem seal yu and dem stamp yu
As a Mad Mad Woman
And if yu teck dem shock
You no have no come a come back

Look here no, if yu life is not fulfilling
And yu feel like yu not doing the right thing
Elevate yu self with some Word Magic
Tell yu self yu loveable, yu worth while
One of humanity's child
Look how yu nice, Look how yu sweet
Give yourself a treat
Its all in the mind
Change yu thought pattern
Treat yu self kind

Cherry Natural




Awards 1999

On October 20, 1999, the Institute of Jamaica
hosted its premier event for the calendar
year, the Musgrave Medals Awards
Ceremony. Eleven individuals and one
institution were honoured in recognition of their
notable contribution in the fields of Literature,
Science and Art.

Awards were presented in all three categories:
Literature, Science and Art. Three Gold, five
Silver and four Bronze Musgrave Medals were
presented as follows:

Mrs Beverley Dexter
Miss Carole Reid
Miss Dawn Scott
Mrs Maria Smith



Visual Arts

Bronze Dance

Rev. Oliver Daley

Mr Marvin Goodman
Miss Ann Hodges
Computer Society

Mr Patrick Stanigar

Dr Erna Brodber

Miss Lorna Goodison

Errol Morrison








& the Arts


Literature &
Literature &



Excerpt from

the work of

Prof. Errol Morris,


T he dawn of the 21st
century is projected
to witness a 51%
increase in the
prevalence of
diabetes mellitus in the
Caribbean. For 1994, the
breakdown in the figures was
Insulin Dependent Diabetes
Mellitus (IDDM) 105,000, Non
Insulin Dependent Diabetes
Mellitus (NIDDM) 913,000 By
the year 2010, the estimation is
for 184,000 and 1,597,000

These trends are thought to be a
result of rapid cultural changes
with consequent impact on diet
and lifestyle compounded by an
aging population.

The Caribbean islands constitute
the chain of discrete land masses
from the Northwestern end at
Cuba to the Southeastern point at
Trinidad and Tobago. Nestled
between the affluent macro-
economy of North America and
the mixed socio-economy of
Central and South America, the
Caribbean islands nurture an

evolving miscegenation and
economy affected unpredictably
not only by its neighbours but
also importantly by the socio-
economic happenings of the
Eastern Hemisphere. It embraces
four language groups, i.e.
English, Spanish, French and
Dutch and this speaks clearly to
its history since the advent of the
Italian adventurer in 1494.

Speaking of the people, the
genetic mix is of such that one
can only describe them as
predominantly phenotypically
White, Black, Chinese or East
Indian, and all told the
approximate census is 30-35

Type 1 or Insulin Dependent
Diabetes Mellitus is rare. The
clinical category of Type 2 or
Non Insulin Dependent Diabetes
Mellitus (NIDDM) has a subset

Professor Errol Morrison (I)
receives his medal from the
Chairman of the Council, Prof.
Barry Chevannes.

of patients who will need insulin
for optimal control. Also, there is
another subset that shows
intermittent requirement for
insulin and during this mode of
therapy behaves as type I with the
difference being that withholding of
insulin does not result in
Ketoacidosis. This group has been
described recently by Morrison as
Phasic Insulin Dependence Diabetes
Mellitus. PIDDM, but is possibly
also a formes frustes of Hugh Jones

The new classification includes
this subset wherein, under-
nutrition/malnutrition is regarded
as the predisposing factor.

An apparent characteristic of our
clinical management is that


insulin is underused either due
to under prescribing by the
doctor or non-compliance by the
patient. Hospital and clinic
based data suggest that there are
some 30% insulin treated
patients, yet the islandwide
survey in Jamaica 1993,
Ragoobirsingh et al, revealed
less than 5% of known diabetic
persons using insulin.

The practice may have its
manifestation in the toll of the
complications seen.
* Diabetic neuropathy (all
forms) is reported in some

* Over a third of all
hospital/beds in the Public
Health system in Jamaica are
occupied by diabetes related
problems, and on the surgical
wards near 80%.

* Diabetes Mellitus is
responsible for the longest
stay in hospital nearly three
times that of the nearest

* Diabetes Mellitus ranks as
the leading cause of
secondary blindness in the
Caribbean and occupies
approximately the fifth
position as a cause of

Excerpt from

the work of

Dr. Erna



The air-waves were
thick with their
buzzing. "That White
Hen" Mr. Dan was thinking
"really does take the dictum 'the
first shall be the last and the last
shall be the first' literally. She
was the last to be found yet here
she is the first to call. What has
this bubble-bursting soul to
say?" The pin was laced with
sarcasm, which was not its
normal style. She came through
singing A seminar, a seminar,
a most ingenious seminar,
-she was singing.-You'll next
be seeing Ella's papers at the top
of the files at Whitehall with the
Under Secretaries bowing their
heads and saying: "Yes, yes, yes.
We are spirit thieves. We shouldn't
have done it."

Mr. Dan breathed hard. He was
making the effort to remember
that White Hen had a purpose.

That he tended to be too hasty
and that it was her function to cut
him down a peg or two. "But
does it have to be five or six", he
was thinking. He pulled in a
breath, let it circulate all over his
body, calmed himself and said in
measured reasonable tones:

"-White Hen, you more than all
of us know that that is possible.
Papers published in the colonies
must be deposited in the British
Museum. Whitehall has its spies.
It could happen!" -White Hen
scratched around a bit, then
settled at rest, her knees bent and
her ample frame with wings
spread out, balanced itself
miraculously on those folded
legs. She said nothing more. Just
kept glancing from side to side.
Mr. Dan continued. She was
new. Perhaps she didn't know
what he knew!

New Beacon Books, 1988, London


: i
.;.- :;;.i.
; ;
;: ,1.

ma91 *,, ..4:
.* :,. ....

Excerpt from

the work of

Lorna Goodison


Mother, one stone is wedged across the
hole in our history and sealed with
blood wax.
In this hole is our side of the story, exact
figures, headcounts, burial artifacts, documents,
lists, maps showing our way up through the
stars; lockets of brass
containing all textures of hair clippings.
It is the half that has never been told, some of
us must tell it.

Mother, there is the stone on the hearts of some
women and men
something like an onyx, cabochon-cut
which hung on the wearer seeds bad dreams.
Speaking for the small dreamers of this earth,
plagued with nightmares, yearning
for healing dreams
we want that stone to move.

Upon an evening like this, mother, when one
year is making way
for another, in a ceremony attended by a show
of silver stars,
mothers see the moon, milk-fed, herself a
nursing mother and we think of our children
and the stones upon their future
and we want these stones to move.

For the year going out came in fat at first
but towards the harvest it grew lean.
And many mouth corners gathered white

and another kind of poison, powdered white
was brought in to replace what was green.
And death sells it with one hand
and with the other death palms a gun
then death gets death's picture
in the papers asking,
"where does all this death come from?"
Mother, stones are pillows
for the homeless sleep on concrete sheets.
Stone flavors soap, stone is now meat,
the hard-hearted giving our children
stones to eat.

Mother, the great stones over mankind got to move.
It's been ten thousand years we've been watching
them now from various points in the universe.
From the time of our birth as points of light
in the eternal coiled workings of the cosmos.
Roll away stone of poisoned powders come
to blot out the hope of our young.
Move stone of sacrificial lives we breed
to feed to tribalistic economic machines.
From across the pathway to mount morning
site of the rose quartz fountain
brimming anise and star water
bright fragrant for our children's future.
Mother these great stones got to move.

University of Michigan Press, 1992, USA





by Phillip Bengry



of Jamaica sponsored a
Summer Camp at
Clydesdale in the Blue
Mountains for science teachers
and other masters and mistresses
interested in Natural History.
This camp was so much
appreciated that it was
unanimously decided at a
meeting held in September of
the same year to form a Natural
History Society.

A second field trip was
sponsored by the Institute to
Munro College, where on
January 4, 1941 the inaugural
meeting of the Natural History
Society of Jamaica took place, a
constitution was drawn up and
the first officers were elected -
Mr. C. Swabey, Conservator of
Forests being the President. The
object of the Society was stated
to be "the encouragement and
advancement of the study of
Natural History in Jamaica".


Needless to say, this object remains
our sole purpose. There were
twenty-one foundation members
but now our membership is well
over one hundred and still

Since the inaugural meeting the
Society has expanded its scope
considerably and although there
have been "downs" as well as
"ups" the foundations we believe
to have been well laid. I will
now briefly trace the Society's
activities and its developments
over a period of eight years.

D during the first year,
1941, a cyclostyled
journal was commenced
which was entitled "Notes of the
Natural History Society of
Jamaica". These Notes were
produced with the aid of the
Natural History Museum of the
Institute of Jamaica, members of
the Society were the contributors
and all members were mailed
copies. The first number
contained account of the
formation of the Society and a
general description of the
fieldwork carried out during

the Munro programme including
a trip up the Black River. Among
other items there was an article
on how to make a plant
collection giving helpful hints to
inexperienced members. A field
trip was held in the Easter
holidays at Portland Ridge
where we had an excellent
opportunity of exploring the
caves, Arawak middens and the
dry honey comb limestone
habitat provided by the Ridge
itself. It may be mentioned here
that the area is an ecological
"island" differing from that of
the rest of Jamaica. For example
the Blue-tailed Galliwasp has
been found there only. No. 2 of
the Notes was devoted essen-
tially to an account of that trip.

The last two weeks of August
were spent at a camp which took
place in the Blue Mountains at
Clydesdale in the valley of the
Clyde River, to the west of
Cinchona. We were and have
been ever since indebted to the
Forest Department (and for a
short period the Agricultural
Department for the use of this old

coffee property as our summer
camp headquarters). Clydesdale
is an excellent centre for
reaching the various mountain
gaps around Cinchona; the
scenery is lovely and the climate
is cool and invigorating.

In the evenings we had talks,
pressed our plant specimens
sorted the day's catches and
collected fireflies and frogs.
Some evenings we sang around
a huge barbecue bonfire
roasting potatoes and toasting
marshmallows. There is no
doubt but that we got off to a
good and enjoyable start. Our
results and observations at
Clydesdale were published in
No. 3 of the Notes. The first
time the Secretary reported 39
members and also that cots and
some other camp equipment had
been purchased for the

We increased our publications to
give issues of Notes per year
and our membership to sixty one
by the time of the Annual
General Meeting. Mr. C.B.
Lewis, curator of the Museum
was elected President for the
ensuing year.

1943 again saw increased
Society activity and despite
transport difficulties a very
successful two weeks camp was
held at Clydesdale with eight
Secondary School pupils
attending during the second
week. Nineteen broadcasts were
given over ZQI by eleven
members who in nearly all cases
had prepared the talks
themselves. Six numbers of
Notes were issued, one Or the
most outstanding contributions
appearing in issue No. 7: "A

convenience of members. Some evenings we sang aroi
Mr. C. Swabey was re-
elected President. a huge barbecue bonfire

n January 1942,
another good start was
made with a trip to
Hector's River where our
party was accommodated at t
Happy Grove School by t
courtesy of Dr. K. Crook
Owing to restricted transport
a result of the war, an office
Clydesdale camp was impractit
but five members did spend
week there.

A special new feature of t
years programme was t]
commencement of a series
Natural History broadcast
given by members over Z(
These elicited many favourab
comments from our listener

roasting potatoes and toasti


he classification of Vegetation in
he Jamaica by Mr. C. Swabey.
s. This must be considered an
as important piece of pioneer
ial work. The Notes received high
le commendation from readers
a abroad and requests for copies
came in from many institutions
overseas. The Education
Department also requested us to
prepare a small book on Natural
History based on the broadcasts
which could be used as sources
S of material by teachers. At the
Annual General Meeting the

Secretary revealed that our
membership had risen to nearly

1944 was a good year for
broadcasting: we put over the
air, twenty-six talks arranged in
six series. The texts of these
talks formed a good nucleus for
the now bi-monthly issues of the
Notes. Our first twelve numbers
were indexed and the first
volume was closed. Starting
with No. 13, it was decided to
have continuous paging to
facilitate indexing. We were
learning by experience.
Unfortunately no camp had
been possible at Clydesdale
owing to hurricane damage to
the house. At the fourth Annual
General Meeting in September
1944, Dr. R. B. Hill, Rockefeller
Foundation Representative in
Jamaica was elected
und President.

1945 did not see much
Progress on account of
prevailing war conditions.
Membership remained at
a standstill and we were
unable to hold a
Clydesdale Camp because the
hurricane damage of the
previous year had not been
repaired. Nevertheless a very
successful trip to Corn Puss Gap
was held in January. The
broadcasts which had been
given regularly over a two and a
half year period were suspended
after the series in February. The
Institute published "Glimpses of
Jamaican Natural History" a
collection of articles, most of
which had been written for
broadcasts by members with the


aim in part of providing teachers
with a background material for
classroom teaching. The booklet
went on sale with the opening of
the Natural History Museum on
July 5, 1945 and the first copy
was presented to His Excellency,
the Governor, by the Curator of
the Museum at the opening

At a special General Meeting
held shortly after the Annual
General Meeting, an important
amendment was made in the
Constitution dividing the
membership into Full Members
and Associates. The annual
subscription for Full Members
was fixed at ten shillings, such
members to be elected by the
Executive Committee at their
discretion. Full members enjoy
the privileges of voting and are
eligible for election to offices
and standing committees.
Associate members enjoy all
other privileges of the Society
such as receiving copies of Notes
and participating in all meetings
and field trips. The reason for
this change was to ensure that
active members were elected to
office and also to improve our
finances. Any Associate member
may of course qualify at any
time to full membership.

During 1946 we again

resumed our broadcasts
and our Camp at
Clydesdale. We also had several
interesting Saturday afternoon
trips with meetings at the
Institute on the following

Natural History Society of Jamaica Field Trip to the fish ponds near Spanish Town,
conducted by A.J. Thomas, Fisheries Officer, Fisheries Division (3rd left) also in

the group Ron Bengry (5th left)
Photo Gill Byles circa 1951

Tuesday afternoons to compare
our identifications and notes and
have informal talks.

1947 showed a marked increase
in enthusiasm amongst
members. We had a very
successful camp at Clydesdale
with talks on Coffee by Arthur
Pratt, coffee officer; Forests by
Mr. E.W. March, Conservator of
Forests and a tour of Cinchona
Gardens conducted by Mr. Jack
Downes, Superintendent of
Public Gardens. A special
feature of the year was the
showing of several films on
Natural History topics at the
Junior Centre, Half Way Tree.
During the year a second volume
of "Glimpses of Jamaican
Natural History" was published
by the Institute of Jamaica.
Again the contributors were
members of the Society. The
demand for the booklets has
been so great that the first

booklets went out of print. Plans
were made however to publish a
second edition revised and with
minor corrections.

Membership has continued to
rise during 1948. We now have
120 members, 14 of whom
attended the Clydesdale Camp in
August. At Easter there was a
trip to Whitfield Hall which
included a hike to the peak and
there were also a few Saturday
trips. Film shows and talks were
given at Mico College and these
were well patronised by the
general public. The films
included Wood Ants, Onion, The
Council, Maize and World
Gardens and were loaned by the
courtesy of the British Council.
Pro Norman Millot, of the
University College of the West
Indies, gave a most interesting
lecture on "Animal Wonders of
the Sea" illustrated with
excellent lantern slides. On


another evening, Mr. A. J.
Thomas gave a very interesting
talk on Trout which was
followed by an instructive film
show on Trout Development.
These numbers of Notes were
published, bringing our record
up to two indexed volumes and
nine numbers of a third
volume. These Notes have of
course been published each
year since the inauguration of
the Society. Broadcasts took
the form of a "Question Box" in
which various members sitting as
a panel of experts answer
questions sent in by radio
listeners. This new series proved
very popular and we trust it will
continue indefinitely.

The first field trip was held in
November 1948 to Dick's Pond
and later trips took place to
Port Henderson, Yallahs, Ferry
and Quick Step (Easter trip).
The summer camp at
Clydesdale was I believe the
best year and a party of 28
attended the collecting was
excellent, photographic records
were made thanks largely to
Mr. K. Richards and work on
the quadrat continued.

Films were shown by Alpha
Academy in March and in
April. Mr. March gave a
lecture on "The wildlife of
Ceylon" which was regrettably
poorly attended by members
and the public alike.

Phillip Bengry is a former
president of the NHSJ. The
preceding report was made in


By C.Bernard Lewis

of the formation of
the Natural History
Society of Jamaica,
it was realized that
information was not readily
accessible and so "Natural
History Notes" was promptly
inaugurated This was produced
as a quarterly and continued for
75 issues (12 issues to a
volume). Only three numbers of
Volume I had appeared when
publication was suspended at
the end of 1955.

In 1970 the Society was
reactivated and now has again a
full programme of activities
which we expect will soon
include a new series of Natural
History Notes. In the meantime
we decided to prepare bound
sets of the previous Natural
History Notes as very few
complete files were known and

examination of the contents of
that duplicated journal revealed
some valuable information on a
wide variety of natural history
subjects. We used whatever
back stock was available,
restencilled a few numbers and
xeroxed still others to complete
25 full sets bound in three
volumes. After reserving two
sets for the society's library all
others have been sold.

20 sets of Volume 4-6 were
bound in three volumes
especially for schools. These
were considered the more
important volumes for general
reference and they were sold for
$30.00 per set.

Volume 4 Quadrat Studies at
Clydesdale. Contributions came
from members on land snails,
lady bird beetles reptiles, ferns
and fishes. James Bond of

Ron Bengry
(left) and C.
Bernard Lewis
at a Christmas
party at the
Institute in




- After 60 years

By Gill Byles

Sixty years after its
conception the
NHSJ continues to
be guided by its
original aims:
the study and conservation
of the natural environment of
Jamaica, with special ref-
erence to the flora and fauna
but also including interest in
other fields of natural
the encouragement and
promotion of public education
on environmental and eco-
logical matters.
upholding the principles of
the World Wildlife Charter.

Throughout its 60 years as a
volunteer organization, the
NHSJ has maintained links with
either the Institute of Jamaica
(IOJ), its original home, or the
UWI, giving it the advantages of
a base from which to operate,
with the use from which to recruit
members, many of whom are a
source of scientific knowledge.

Since its inception, the NHSJ
has developed a wealth of


scientific information, collected
and contributed by members.
That information is available for
dissemination amongst the wider
society through education
projects in schools, publications
and public seminars.

The Education Sub-committee
works with schools for the
annual Jamaica Conservation
Development Trust (JCDT).
Members also write monthly
articles for the Children's Own
newspaper on which they base a
competition at the end of the
school year.

As a part of the National
Environmental Societies Trust
(NEST), the Education Focus
Group is working towards a
national environmental plan for
schools. NHSJ publications
6 volumes of Notes on
Jamaica's natural history from
1941, which are presently
being revived and published
by subject matter with
financial assistance from the
Environmental Foundation of
Jamaica (EFJ) of which the

society is a member.
6 volumes of the Ja.
Naturalist magazine

"The Blue Mountain Guide,"
which contains notes on the
flora, fauna, geography,
geology and history of the
Blue Mountains. A revised
version which will include the
John Crow Mountains, will
shortly be published.

"The A-Z of Wild Life and
Wild Places," a colour book
for children.

A book, "Trees ofJa.," is now
with the publisher.

Articles on Jamaica's flora
and fauna, which were
published by the Observer

In recognition of Earth Day each
April and World Environmental
week in June, the NHSJ has for
several years hosted public
seminars on topical environmental
or ecological issues. The NHSJ
has a strong nucleus of highly
qualified, talented skilled and
motivated members, e.g.
scientists, administrators, artists,
photographers, writers, educators,
who can be called upon by the
society. The society offers its
members a variety of activities,
such as field trips, seminars,
workshops and social get-
togethers. Members are kept up-
to-date with activities and other
members by 8-10 newsletters
each year, "Nature's Jottings,"

which also print members
Jottings and natural history.

The NHSJ Constitution allows
for annual rotation of its
executive members. All fully
paid up members are eligible and
encouraged to hold office within
the organization. The data base
lists approximately 400 members.

In 1987, along with the Jamaica
Geographical Society and the
Gosse Bird Club, an off shoot of
the NHSJ (now Bird Life Ja), the
NHSJ initiated Wood and Water
Day, which became a National
Day in 1997, to be commem-
orated on the first Saturday in
October each year. It was born
out of a concern for deforestation
of our watersheds and for several
years was celebrated by the
planting of tree seedlings in the
watersheds. More recently, the
dry limestone primary forest of
Long Mountain became the focus
and bio surveys and a workshop
held in the hope of the area
becoming a nature reserve for
study and recreation. Public fora
are planned to commemorate
future Wood and Water Days.

Some years ago the NHSJ's
concern for the need to protect

our primary forests resulted in
the present JCDT to monitor a
system of protected areas.

The NHSJ's longevity owes
much to a number of dedicated
members, active since the 1940's
to 50's through to the present.
Educator, Miss Sonia Servant
joined as a school girl, 58 years
ago. Mrs. Cynthia Powell chairs
the Education Committee and
was an Executive member until
1999. She wrote natural history
notes in the 1950's and was an
IOJ employee, as was artist Mrs.
Audrey Wiles, who still works
with the Education Committee.
She was NHSJ Treasurer before
the Jamaican Dollar became
local currency. Dr. Margaret
Hodges joined the NHSJ in the
1950's and is a past president.
She is part of the present
Education Committee and Editor
of "The Blue Mountain Guide"
and "Trees of Jamaica."

Surviving honorary members
who have contributed to
Jamaica's natural history
knowledge base are: Miss Olive
Baxter, Miss Lisa Salmon,
Emeritus Prof Ivan Goodbody
and Dr. George Proctor.

Published by the African Caribbean Institute
of Jamaica

Featuring essays on
* Costume Types and
Festival Elements in
Caribbean Celebrations
* Gumbay, Myal, and The
Great House: New
Evidence on the Religious
Background of Jonkonnu
in Jamaica

* Spirit Belief in the Cosmology
of Africa and the Caribbean
* Brief Notes on De Laurence
in Jamaica
* African Continuities in Colour
Symbolism in Death Rituals
For further information, contact
the ACIJ at 922-4793, 922-7415;
e-mail: acij@anngel.com.jm

Philadelphia commenced to
contribute expert observation
and comments on birds in
addition to those of local
authorities such as May Jeffrey-
Smith, E.S. Panton & Lady

Volume 5 10 part series of
illustrated articles by Garth
Underwood on reptiles was
completed as well as a five part
series on reef fishes by Victoria
Smith. With availability of
experts on new subjects the
scope of "Notes" expanded in
new articles on geology,
echinoderm, caves and hawk-
moths while contributions on
other subjects previously cov-
ered continued.

Volume 6 The series on
echinoderms was concluded.
Specialists contributed on whales,
spiders and scorpions and
millipedes. G.R. Proctor
commenced his studies on
Jamaican ferns and T.H. Farr
commenced his work on
Jamaican robberflies. A study was
made of St. Clair Cave where one
of the most important bat
communities in the Caribbean is
located. Unfortunately only three
issues of this Volume 6
appeared. These had important
articles on vegetation on bauxite
soils, grasses, bird banding and on
the Ocho Rios reef which we
sought to have preserved as a
marine park.



Netsite I http://www.nlj.org.jm

National Library of Jamaica

National Bird

l.nl liip_: n l-------- -_A --'

) [IUJ ()itldIlhlh"r " a~ l[I ~ ', C

The National

Library of Jamaica
by John Aarons, Director, National Library of Jamaica

S" he Storehouse of the
Nation's Memory"
T and "Preserving the
Past to inform the Future" are
two slogans which aptly
describe the functions of the
National Library of Jamaica. It
is this Library which provides
researchers and members of the
general public with information
on the history of Jamaica dating
back to the 17th century which
documents the experiences,
sufferings and achievements of
the nation. It is a treasure house
which all Jamaicans should be
proud to own.


The Library's collection consists
not only of books, newspapers
and other printed material, but
prints, photographs, maps,
manuscripts, audio and video
tapes and cassettes, phonograph
records, and compact discs. The
Library, established in 1979, is
based on the collection and
infrastructure of an earlier
library, the West India Reference
Library of the Institute of
Jamaica. The name of Frank
Cundall will always be
associated with this library, for in
the 47 years during which he
held the position of Secretary/
Librarian of the Institute of
Jamaica, he assiduously built the




collection. His achievement was
even more remarkable when one
considers the very limited resources
available to him at that time.
The emphasis of the National
Library is on the collection of
Jamaican material regardless of
the format. Special attention is
currently being paid to audio-
materials as these often contain
information on cultural life and
personal experiences of people not
necessarily found in printed sources.
As the Library cannot afford to
purchase all these materials, it
depends on donations much of
which have been forthcoming from
production houses and recording
The printed collection continues
to grow as every attempt is made
to acquire whatever is produced
in or about Jamaica. Members of
the public can assist by sending to
the Library copies of publications
such as school and church
magazines, biographies and
citations, programmes of cultural
and sporting events, invitations to
events and even copies of funeral
progammmes. These contain
detailed information which is of
tremendous value to researchers.
The Library is not just a
storehouse of information but a
resource which is heavily used.
Students and researchers visit or
contact the Library daily for
information which is often not
available anywhere else.
Information obtained is used for
projects, research papers,
genealogy, media broadcasts as
well as general publications.
cont'd on page 51


Jamaica Launches

Bio*Diversity Website

Remarks by Dr. Elaine Fisher,
speaking at the launch of the
National Clearing House
Mechansim web site of the
Convention on Biological
Diversity of which Dr. Fisher is
chairperson. The launch took
place at the Institute of Jamaica,
April 27, 2000

Recognizing that Biological
Diversity is a vital

Rtecognising that Biological
resource for mankind, and
the increasing threat to
this resource from humans, the
United Nations Environment
Programme (UNEP) convened a
Working Group of Experts in late
1998 to "explore the need for an
international convention on
biological diversity". The con-
vention was opened for signature
on June 5, 1992 at the United
Nations Conference on
Environment and Development
(UNCED) (the Rio 'Earth
Summit') and entered into force
December 1993. At present more
than 170 countries are parties to
the convention.
In the convention, Biological
Diversity is defined as the
"variability among living
organisms form all sources
including: inter alia, terrestrial,
marine and other aquatic

ecosystems and the ecological
complexes of which they are a
part; this includes diversity
within species, between species
and of ecosystems". Simply put it
means the variety of all living
things and the variety of habitats
in which they live.

The Convention is a legally
binding international instrument
and its objectives are:
the conservation of
biological diversity,
the sustainable use of its
components and
the fair and equitable sharing
of the benefits arising out of the
utilisation of generic resources.

It recognizes that the components
have 'ecological, genetic, socio
economic, scientific, educa-
tional, cultural recreational and
aesthetic values".

Parties must establish a Clearing
House Mechanism to promote
and facilitate technical and
scientific cooperation; submit
national reports on the imple-
mentation of the convention to
the Conference of the Parties.

A multilateral fund, operated by
the Global Environmental
Facility (GEF), funded by the
cont'd on page 56

The National Library
of Jamaica
cont'd on page 50
Copies of photographs, maps and
prints as well as images from the
film collection are used to
illustrate publications and audio-
visual productions. These
materials are also disseminated
to the public by way of
exhibitions either mounted by the
Library or by other organizations
which turn to the Library for

The Library is keeping pace with
advances in technology and for
some years has had a web site:
Information on the Library and
the collection can be found at this
address. It contains a directory of
some 500 web sites of other
institutions in Jamaica making it
perhaps the most comprehensive
listing of Jamaican web sites.
The Library's catalogue has been
computerized and there are plans
to post it on the Internet. At the
moment it can be accessed on-
line in the Library. Digitizing
material into electronic format is
also on the Library's short-term
agenda and the necessary
hardware and software have
already been acquired.
The National Library is therefore
keeping pace with change, not
only by collecting relevant
material for documentation and
research, but also by utilizing the
technology by which information
is stored and retrieved. In this
way the Library ensures that it
stores for future generations the
historical material it has inher-
ited, and collects and preserves
materials being produced today
for the generations yet unborn.



T he natural beauty of
and for many older OPE GARDENS
amaica is gen HOPE GARDENS
Jamaicans that beauty
is encapsulated in -Natural Beauty
their memories of the Hope
S. by C. Roy Reynolds
Botanical gardens, later renamed
the Royal Botanical Gardens in
Honour of Queen Elizabeth 2nd. the closing decades of the 19th of Britain. But as sugar gained
Honour of Queen Elizabeth 2nd.

For those who can still
remember its glory days, it was a
place as near to the Biblical
Garden of Eden as they are ever
likely to get in their lifetime. But
as the pressures of modern life
and economic demands exert
themselves it is being hard-
pressed to maintain its integrity
and this might be a convenient
juncture at which to record at
least a part of its history.

Although the gardens as a
separate entity is a creation of

century, its name is oi mucn
longer duration. The name
"Hope" does not derive, as might
be inferred by earlier visitors, to
the human aspiration but instead to
the owner of a plantation of the late
17th century following the 1655
capture of Jamaica from the

When Major Richard Hope first
established his plantation on the
Liguanea plains it was devoted
to the growing of indigo, a plant
which produced a much-sought-
after dye for the textile factories

ascendancy as the premier crop ot
the West Indies, it came to
dominate the Hope property as

Historical records indicate that
near the end of the 17th century
it was acquired by then Chief
Justice Roger Elletson, by
marriage. Records indicate that
during much of the 18th century
it was a prosperous estate and
although its owners extracted
great wealth from it much of the
profits were used to improve


facilities such as water-driven
machinery and irrigation works.
Sections of the aqueduct, which
took the water from the Hope
River to the plantation, still survive.

In its hey day, nearly 400 slaves
toiled in its fields and factory and
even into the 20th century
workers, including the legendary
religious Alexander Bedward
found work there early in his life.

But as the 19th century
progressed its profitability
declined and by 1881 its
disintegration as a single entity
began when 600 acres were sold
to the Kingston Waterworks
Company. Later the seeds of
what was to become Hope
Gardens were planted when the
Government acquired 200 acres
for the establishment of "an
experimental garden," consistent
with the climatic conditions of
the area.

Initially, 50 acres were devoted
to the propagation and
distribution of new varieties of
sugarcane, as part of a
programme to rescue the
flagging industry. Ten acres were
planted in teak and ten acres in
coffee, cacao and pineapple.
Later this fledgling pineapple
effort was to lead to Jamaica
supplying the planting material
nucleus for the giant Hawaiian
industry which now flourishes.

The glory days of Hope Gardens,
as it came to be known and
remembered, own their
beginning to a fascinating
Englishman Jack Downes. It is
unclear just when he arrived in
Jamaica but what is not in doubt
is the zeal with which he

developed and maintained the
gardens and today what is
remembered best, is the result of
what was essentially his
combination of enthusiasm and
obsession and the almost
tyrannical efforts he put into
protecting it.

In its hey day, visitors typically
alighted from the tram-cars and
later buses and entered through a
double iron gate with imposing
anchors, down a straight road
guarded on both sides with cassia
trees arrayed like sentinels on the
alert, to discourage or apprehend
any would be desecrator.

The road ended at a small
masonry bridge over which the
visitor crossed into the sweeping
panorama of nature that was
Hope Gardens. Immaculate
expanses of lawns dominated the
first section, interspersed with
trees and beds of flowers kept in
impeccable order. This in turn
fed into the multitude botanical
features that constituted Hope

There was the Sunken Garden,
which as its name implies was
below the level of the rest of the
area and impressively laid
out with various species of
plants, Lovers Lane, a walkway
lined with bougainvillea form-
ing bowers with conveniently
arranged seats where presum-
ably lovers could linger and
reaffirm their commitment or
resolve a difference.

There was the Cactus Garden as
well as the Orchid House and
Aquarium and those with a
frivolous or adventurous turn of
mind could explore the wonder
and challenge of the private
constructed Maze.

All these and much more were
the ingredients that created the
magic of Hope Gardens, a magic
kingdom over which Jack
Downes presided like a Roman
centurion. The visitor was
enjoined to enjoy but never to
touch, for to touch was to offend
"the creator" and he was known
to pursue an offender with the


same relentless zeal with which
he had created his masterpiece.
This writer can still remember
the firestorm that erupted when a
few fellow students of the then
nearby Jamaica School of
Agriculture were suspected of
picking an orchid bloom one

It was never proved who or if
anyone had done so, but the
intense enquiry initiated by Jack
Downes nearly led to a number
of expulsions. As for the general
public, perhaps suitably intim-
idated by the imposing grandeur
of the entrance and the over-
whelming sense of order, the
gardens suggested there is little
evidence that they were disposed
to break the rules.

If anything more was needed to
improve the ambiance of the
setting, it was provided by the
once a month Sunday evening
band concert by the Jamaica
Military Band under the
legendary Bobby Jones. On such
occasions, the bandstand would
be ringed by numbers of people
dressed for the occasion who
would surround the band stand,
standing or sitting on the grass,
weather permitting and enrap-
tured by the spirited rendition of
classical interpretations as well
as lively local compositions.
Now and then, there would be
quaint moments such as when a
burly member of the band played
on the flute meant to simulate the
sound of the bird in the rendition of
"In a monastery Garden" and few
could resist the impetus to move to
the robust rendition of "Cany Mi
Ackee Go a Linstead Market."


After it was all over the
unanimous agreement was, "that
a good time was had by all." But
lest the author be accused of
selective memory let us hear
from other voices in other times.
The well-known naturalist
Walter Jekyll in his little book
on the Gardens, began "Splendid
sense of spaciousness. That is
our first feeling. Everything is
on a grand scale and the lawn is
measured in acres... a fitting
accompaniment which art has
joined to the majestic natural
backdrop of mountains. "There
is nothing mean about Hope,
nothing trivial...It is a botanical
garden made beautiful and made
beautiful by the best of methods,
the method of simplicity and

Giving tribute to
Jekyll continued:
tively feels that
hands it might

Jack Downes,
"One instinc-
in less wise
have been

E. Jack Downes

Jekyll gave recognition to the
economic side of the gardens
as well. He mentioned the part
it played to improve species of
economic plants as well as to
the development of technology.
A nursery adjacent to the
gardens served as the
Corporate Area's foremost
producer and distributor of

"It is a botanical garden made beautiful and
made beautiful by the best of methods, the
method of simplicity and restraint"

different. There might have been
indiscriminate and reckless
planting, a crowding together of
trees, which would have resulted
in confusion. Our best thanks are
due to those who made it so and
keep it so. And assuredly,
whatever may have been the
influences in the past which
have contributed to this happy
state of things, here in the
forefront of this notice should stand
our acknowledgement of those
who watch over the gardens with
such loving care in the present."

several species of ornamental
and economic plants and
provided an environment in
which its workers could earn a
living as well as learn a skill.
Francis Fritter writing in the
weekly "Public Opinion" on
August 17, 1957 remarked of
Jack Downes: "He really made
Hope Gardens the place it is
today and we all owe him a
debt of gratitude. For though
the gardens existed before his
time it never became the centre
that it now is."


Saving Spanish Town's

Iron Bridge

n international appeal
has been launched to
save the first iron
bridge in the western
Ahemi-sphere, built
1800 and located in Jamaica.
This historic structure spans the
Rio Cobre, linking the districts of
Beacon Hill and Thompson Pen
to the Spanish Town main road.
Despite its historic significance,
the bridge has been largely
ignored as one of Jamaica's
important artifacts. Over the
years, the ravages of the weather
have taken their toll on the
structure, to the extent that there
have been fears that the bridge
would not last much longer. Such
concerns are reflected in the fact
that the bridge, listed as a

national monument by the
Jamaica National Heritage Trust
also appears on the list of the
World Heritage Watch's 100
most endangered sites in the
world for the year 1998-99.

This has led to the formation of
the Spanish Town Iron Bridge
Foundation, a non-governmental
organization incorporated as a
company. Its mission to save
the structure which reflects the
skills and aesthetics of an age past.

The bridge was officially closed
to vehicular traffic October 21,
1931 when the nearby Stubbs
Bridge was opened. However, it
continued to be used by
pedestrians. Within recent times,
the brick arch and stonework of

the north abutment and
approach collapsed, leaving a
hole some 13 metres wide in the
bridge floor with consequences
both for the structure and the
people who persist in using it.

With the north foundation badly
eroded over the years, the entire
bridge faced certain collapse.
But thanks to the efforts of a
restoration committee the
foundation has been stabilized by
concrete works provided by
Caribbean Construction Co. Ltd.

Fund-raising for the restoration
drive has reached out beyond
Jamaica's shores. According to
chairman, consulting engineer
Keble F. Williams, the Georgian
Society in England made a


contribution of 1,735 towards
the rescue effort. Some J$2-M
has been raised from local efforts
but much more is needed to
ensure the future of the bridge. A
public appeal has been launched.

Describing the attraction which
the bridge holds for him and
members of the Foundation, Mr.
Williams said, in a recent press
interview (Sunday Gleaner April
10, 2000), that while the bridge
does not have "mass appeal" and
many people might well be
satisfied with casually viewing it
from a distance, there will be
persons who will want a more
leisurely look at it and to this
end, the visual aesthetics of the
bridge should be enhanced from
chosen vantage points.

Even after years of neglect, the
Spanish Town Iron Bridge, with
its exquisite stonework and brick
arch, stands out as something
special. Mr. Williams describes it
as a "beautiful structure,"
explaining that it was built 29
years after the first iron bridge
was built in England. He has
faith in its potential as a valuable
heritage site to attract visitors.

The Spanish Town Iron Bridge
Foundation plans to develop the
land surrounding the bridge,
including landscaping and a
public riverside park with
parking facilities, a restaurant/
bar, story boards, observation
decks from which the national
monument could be pho-
tographed and a small museum
and craft shop. All this would
cost $25 Million and the
members of the Foundation have
pledged themselves to the task of
achieving their target for the
benefit not only of Spanish Town
but for all Jamaica.


Jamaica Launches

Bio-Diversity Website
cont'd from page 51

developed countries for the
implementation of the con-
vention. Implementing agencies
for the fund are the World Bank,
United Nations Development
Programme and UNEP. Parties
are required to designate a focal
point for its CHM. The Institute
of Jamaica through its Natural
History Division, has been
designated as the focal point for
Jamaica's CHM.
Through UNDP, Jamaica has
received funding from the
Global Environmental Facility
to prepare its National Bio-
diversity Strategy and Action
Plan (NBSAP) its first National
Report to the COP, and to
establish its Clearing House
Mechanism. The IOJ received
two computers, one printer and
funds to develop the website.
The launch of the CHM website
is the official recognition that
this phase of the project is
complete, also that Jamaica has
fulfilled one of its important
obligations in the imple-
mentation of the Convention.
The CHM is a decentralised
network with Biodiversity
related information. The CHM
will facilitate access to and
exchange of information.It is
needed to promote scientific
and technical cooperation
among Parties. In general, it
serves to support the objectives
of the convention.

Recently the Parties adopted text
for a Biosafety Protocol. The
CHM will play a very important
role in the implementation of this
Protocol, once it enters into
force. In fact countries will be
required to designate a focal
point for the Biosafety CHM.
At the national level the CHM
will provide not only information
on biodiversity but links to other
organizations involved in
biological diversity.
There will be a need for main-
tenance of the site, continued
gathering of information on
Biodiversity including cross
sectorial issues; determining
priority areas for Jamaica and
research on Jamaica's bio-diversity
for publication on the site.
The Natural History Division of
the Institute has a very important
role to play. The Conference of the
Parties has identified taxonomy as
a very important area which needs
support. The NHD is the entity
responsible for the national
collections of plants and animals
and should be well positioned to
take advantage of this.
The establishment of the site is only
the beginning and can provide
numerous opportunities not only for
the Institute, but more importantly
for Jamaica, because until we
seriously grapple with the problem
of environmental abuse, that is, until
we sustainably use the natural
resources that surround us we will
continue to lose them.

For the
Encouragement of
Literature, Science and Art
in Jamaica

The Institute of Jamaica was established in 1879 by then, Former Governor,
Sir Anthony Musgrave and over the years has developed into the most
significant cultural, artistic and scientific organization in the country.
In 1978, the Institute of Jamaica Act of 1879 was repealed and its scope of activi-
ties expanded. The Institute is administered by a Council comprising not less than
10 and no more than 25 persons appointed by the Minister of Culture and
includes in its membership no more than five Fellows, who are honorary members
of the Council.
The Institute has responsibility for the following organizations.
The Mluseums Division
The National Library of Jamaica
The Natural History Division
The Junior Centres
The Institute of Jamaica Publications Ltd.
The African-Caribbean Institute of Jamaica
Jamaica Nlemory Bank
The National Gallery of Jamaica

Historic Structures

The Altamont DaCosta Institute

The Altamont DaCosta Institute at Central
Avenue, Kingston. is the former dwelling house
of the popular Kingston mayor and philan-
thropist of the same name.

Altamont DaCosta (1868-1936) was a prominent
Kingston merchant who rose to become mayor.
then Custos of Kingston. He was first elected to
the City Council in 1909 and was its Vice
Chairman. He was renowned for his organiza-
tional skill and served on all major public boards.
He received the M.B.E. in 1918 for meritorious
service. In 1928 he succeeded Col. C.J. Ward as
Custos of Kingston and Chief Magistrate. In
1932 he was awarded the OBE and did not seek
re-election to the Legislative Council in 1934 as
".lai, Alty" as he was affectionately known.
decided to make way for younger blood.

A prominent Freemason and devout Jew, it was
in keeping with his public spiritedness and fore-
sight that DaCosta, a life long bachelor, willed

his house constructed in 1920 or thereabouts, to
the people of Jamaica. He died in 1935.

The timber-framed building is finished with
lime-cement rendering in popular "pebble-dash"
on the exterior (small stone chips added to give a
lumpy texture) and smooth render on the inside.
The interior was once ornate in the fashion of the
period of early twentieth-century buildings.
Georgian decorative motifs such as stylised flut-
ed Doric columns on the veranda are interspersed
with the vernacular (fretwork barge board over
carport) and the trendy artifacts of the Industrial
Revolution (pressed-tin ceiling).

A section of the Jamaica School of Art was
housed there up until the 1970's when it was
moved to Arthur Wint Drive. Recently refur-
bished, the Altamont DaCosta it will be put to
use in the service of Jamaican arts and culture,
under the administration of the Institute of

C Norman~l Hamiltonn

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