Thursday, 25 December 2014

Museum established for Jamaican former Premier and National Hero

Author: Tyrone Thompson, Gleaner Staff Reporter
Title: Norman's Birthplace Restored
Date published: December 14, 2014

This article reports on the restoration of the birthplace of former Premier and National Hero Norman Manley at Roxborough in Manchester and the establishment of a museum there. Excerpts of speech are reported from Tourism Minister Wykeham McNeill reacting to the completion of the restoration. Also mentioned is the amount spent so far - $42 million. The article further outlines the economic challenges plaguing the project while providing arguments for the value of the project for Jamaican heritage and tourism. Also reported is Ainsley Henriques, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the National Heritage Trust, defending the investment made in Roxborough and arguing that the return on investment is already evident in the numbers of increased visitors.


The site, which sits on approximately 2.5 acres, had fallen into disrepair and eventually destroyed by fire in 1968. It was renovated by the Government and the National Heritage Fund and was reopened in July of 2013 as a museum and heritage park. The roads leading to the site were also repaved.

McNeill argued that there is intrinsic value in the renovation of historical sites such as Roxborough, which he believes will aid in projecting the island as a multiple-attraction destination.

"Its part of the wider cultural package. You have to remember that part of the role of the Tourism Enhancement Fund is to showcase our history and our culture, because we are not just selling sun, sand and sea, we have a lot more that makes us special as Jamaicans."

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