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Miss Lou gets her square

BY AALIYAH CUNNINGHAM
Observer writer
aaliyahc@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

GORDON Town Square has been officially renamed Miss Lou Square, in honour of cultural icon, folklorist Louise Bennett-Coverley who would have celebrated her 100th birthday last Saturday. The ceremony took place on Sunday in Gordon Town, St Andrew, where she resided for many years.

Speaking with the Jamaica Observer, her son and estate manager, Fabian Coverley said it is an honour to see his mother's legacy live on.

“It's hard to put it in words because it's so deep and its almost very, very emotional that my mother now has a square in Gordon Town where she lived for so many years. But we operate under destiny. There was no mistake, no coincidence; everything happens for a reason and it is what it is,” he said.

Miss Lou was born at 40 North Street in Kingston on September 7, 1919. She received her education at Ebenezer and Calabar Primary schools, and Excelsior High School and Friends College. She later moved to London to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.

Miss Lou, was a social commentator, actress, writer, songwriter, poet, television and radio host. She died in 2006 in Toronto, Canada at age 86.

During the ceremony, Member of Parliament for St Andrew East Rural, Juliet Holness delivered her greetings in the MissLou style of performance. Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia “Babsy” Grange allowed the audience to sing Long Time Gal, written by Miss Lou. Prime Minister Andrew Holness was keynote speaker.

The package would not have been complete without entertainment. The Independence Children's Choir, Hartford Cultural Group, and Energy Plus Mento Band gave satisfying performances.

According to Coverley, his family plans to commemorate the centenary of Miss Lou's birth.

“The motto of the estate is 'Maintaining The Memories and The Legacy of Eric Coverley and Louise Bennett-Coverley'. That's what we are operating under,” he said, adding that it was important for countries to preserve and honour the legacies of those who made a social impact.

“We have to know where we have been to know where we are going, so it is imperative that we keep the memories alive,” said Coverley.

As a part of the celebration Fontana Pharmacy, in partnership with the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, created storyboards for distribution in 1,700 schools in Jamaica as well as across libraries, embassies and museums.