, 2022-10-02 00:09:37,
In the age of the quest for reparations, the word “preservation” is now taboo in reference to historic buildings. We can no longer say that we have an interest in “preserving” historic buildings because if they were built in the period of colonialism and slavery, how dare anyone want to “preserve” such structures of oppression, rape, and murder! This is what we are now told by a number of our historians. Never mind that these buildings were built by our enslaved ancestors, who were the bricklayers, stone masons, carpenters, and iron workers, and even more, and have unique features, in some cases, found only in Jamaica.
In the 1960s, when Jamaica gained independence, a thriving Jamaica Historical Society, the Institute of Jamaica, and other bodies, were enthusiastic about preserving Jamaica’s historical and cultural heritage. In 1969, then Finance Minister, Edward Seaga, tabled a paper in Parliament outlining Jamaica’s Cultural Heritage Programme, which included historical buildings. The Georgian Society of Jamaica was established in 1967 with a focus on preserving and restoring Falmouth as a Georgian town, one of the few remaining in this hemisphere. It was to be a Jamaican version of the US’ Colonial Williamsburg.
Today, the restoration of Falmouth seems to have stalled. In fact, it seems like historic sites in that town are being destroyed even though Falmouth is supposed to be a protected site and there is a cruise ship pier there because…
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