The Gordon Town Square will be officially renamed in honour of late cultural ambassador, Dr. the Hon. Louise Bennett-Coverley – affectionately known as “Miss Lou”.
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, made the announcement during a civic ceremony in the East Rural St Andrew community on Sunday (September 8) to commemorate the centenary of Miss Lou’s birth.
Mr. Holness indicated that the legal procedure for the renaming will be undertaken by the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) in short order.
“We cannot only allow her works to be embedded in documents. We must have physical representation of her works… and this statue [erected in her honour] is just the beginning. I am expecting that at the next sitting of the [KSMAC], the Councillors will move a resolution to have the Gordon Town Square renamed in honour of the great cultural icon – Louise Bennett-Coverley,” he said.
The Prime Minister noted that after the resolution is passed, a plaque will be unveiled in the square signifying the renaming.
Work to this end began last year with the erection of Miss Lou’s statute and is part of the Government’s plan to upgrade and transform Gordon Town Square into “Miss Lou Square”.
The statue, which was done by noted sculptor, Basil Watson, was unveiled by Prime Minister Holness on September 7, 2018.
Meanwhile, Mr, Holness charged the KSAMC and Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport to partner with property owners in the square to further develop the area as an attraction for local and overseas visitors.
“We should now seek to improve the facade and put in place the necessary infrastructure so that, if we bring tourists in or bring in our own Jamaicans to come and appreciate and understand the culture, they can be appropriately accommodated, hosted and they can possibly interact with some of our works either digitally or other forms,” he said.
A globally acclaimed writer, folklorist, educator, radio and television personality and poet, who was known for performing her pieces in the local patois dialect, Miss Lou is widely regarded as the “Mother of Jamaican Culture”.
Born on September 7, 1919, Miss Lou passed away on July 26, 2006 in Canada and was interred at National Heroes Park in Kingston in a section reserved for cultural icons.
The civic ceremony is among several activities that have been scheduled as part of the centenary celebrations.
Other stakeholders attending the ceremony included Kingston’s Mayor and KSAMC Chairman, Senator Councillor Delroy Williams; Member of Parliament for East Rural St. Andrew, and wife of the Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Juliet Holness; representatives of Miss Lou’s Estate; residents of Gordon Town; and members of the Jamaican diaspora, particularly those resident in Canada.