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AJ Nicholson | Reparation of Jamaica’s sunken self-esteem

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AJ Nicholson | Reparation of Jamaica’s sunken self-esteem

The far-reaching project for the historic sunken city of Port Royal to be named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO places Jamaica within dipping distance of the waters of an inviting developmental stream. That project should by no means be seen, and approached, simply as another occurrence on the national agenda.

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This enterprising effort by the Government, being led by Culture Minister Olivia Grange, provides the powerful potential of serving to concentrate the mind for reflection on Jamaica’s deeply storied past and, at the same time, to point us in the positive direction of a sense of national self-fulfilment and self-esteem.

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There is, at once, the stark reminder of what could have consumed the mind of the sovereign, Charles II, to cause him to have the notorious pirate, Henry Morgan, removed from the Tower of London, escaping severe punishment, knighted and directed to be lieutenant governor of the invaluable sugar-producing Caribbean outpost, Jamaica.

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The project should remind of the exploits of the swashbuckling Welsh buccaneer, Captain Morgan, as much a part of British as of Jamaican recorded history, and the endeavours that pushed his headquarters and infamous playground to be designated “the most wickedest city in the world”. As a world heritage site, it will join other like historic sites around the globe and that process has now been set in train.

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Of course, Minister Grange and the Government, along with other parliamentary leadership, should need no urging that there is more, much more, that is required to be done, including, most importantly, the restoration of the truly historical and cultural gems that remain asleep in the town of Port Royal itself, making for the creation of a desirable, lasting tourist attraction.

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