“The request made by hotelier Christopher Issa,” shared Scheed Cole, trained teacher, practising sculptor, and founder of CEO 360 Recycle Manufacturing, located in the valley of Linstead, “was to create a larger-than-life installation of Jamaica-inspired boots.” And whilst the iconic Wallabee Clarks were indeed the reference, Cole, who prior to the request was hardly au fait with the rage around the boots, went out and purchased a pair. “I like to immerse myself fully in my projects,” he told SO2. Cole was also buoyed by the enthusiasm of his charges. “The young people understood the significance of the boots and its relatability,” he revealed.
Issa had not just approached a sculptor he had approached a nation-builder — a man whose residential programme takes in youth from all over the country, houses them in dormitories, and provides meals and skills training.
“My focus,” he adds “is on changing character, adding values and attitude that will make them employable.”
With an eight-week delivery time, Issa needed it installed on New Year’s Eve to send out the unique Jamaican message for the new year: “Big Up Yuh Self!”
“It needed to be impressive, as light as possible to faciliate ease of installation, but structurally strong and durable. We were up to the challenge and as excited as Issa!”
No idle boast! Cole and team saw the potential to create more.
“It evolved into an interior. The boots are 12 feet long, have a door in each heel, and, yes, with its cabin-style bunk bed it’s possible to sleep in them. The colour scheme, the colours of the Jamaican flag along with our popular red, was also conceptualised by the team.
Now in place at the S Hotel, Montego Bay, and creating quite a frisson, the message is indeed “Big Up Yuh Self” but it is also a story of inspiration, of hope: Young people, given the right environment, opportunity and shown love, can achieve greatness. SO2 would like to Big up Scheed Cole and his team, and Chris Issa, the visionary.
We are still at the S Hotel where the following announcement was made on Friday, January 12:
S Hotel Jamaica is a winner in the 2024 USA Today 10 Best Readers’ Choice travel award contest for Best All-Inclusive Caribbean Resort.
The top 10 winners in this category are as follows:
• S Hotel Jamaica
• Ambergris Cay
• Serenity at Coconut Bay
• Spice Island Beach Resort
• Sunset at the Palms
• Lopesan Costas Bavaro Resort, Spa & Casino
• Sandals Dunn’s River
• Beaches Turks and Caicos
• Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort
• Sonesta Maho Beach Resort, Casino & Spa