CONSTRUCTION of a museum to honour and memorialise Jamaica's first National Hero Marcus Mosiah Garvey will be finished during the country's 60th year of Independence, says Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange.
She said that the facility, which is being erected at 32 Marcus Garvey Way in St Ann's Bay, St Ann, where Garvey spent his formative years, is near completion.
"I am heartened that… the Garvey museum, conceptualised in 2011 for Jamaica 50, and re-engineered during Jamaica 55, is about to become a reality within the legacy of Jamaica 60," Minister Grange said.
Minister Grange was speaking at a civic ceremony to mark the 135th anniversary of the birth of Garvey and his 58th year as a national hero, held at Lawrence Park, St Ann's Bay, on Wednesday.
Grange said that the legacy of Garvey will be protected through the establishment of the museum, noting that it will capture all aspects of his life.
"The museum will be a place where every child and adult of Jamaican heritage, local and foreign-based, will be able to enter physically and virtually to proudly do research, to know the great man Garvey was, and leave more conscious of their ancestral pedigree and heritage, " she said.
Minister Grange noted that the space will be reminiscent of Garvey's focus on cultural enterprise and achievements as well as "one that constantly reminds us of our capacity for greatness — every one of us".
She said that three houses are being constructed on the Seville Heritage Park property in St Ann to relocate the family that occupied the house where the museum is being established, two of which have already been completed.
Minister Grange said that the two-bedroom units, which were constructed under the New Social Housing Programme (NSHP), will be handed over by Prime Minister Andrew Holness, in short order.
Dr Julius Garvey, son of the national hero, urged Jamaicans to look to his father and other heroes who paved the way for the nation to achieve Independence, "for an understanding of the way in which we should go" to attain greatness.
"Marcus Garvey has set us an example in terms of his ideals but also in terms of his organisational ability, his confidence in self and his ability to triumph over obstacles," Dr Garvey said.
The civic ceremony, hosted by the St Ann Municipal Corporation, included the laying of floral tributes at the life-sized statue of Garvey erected at the entrance of the St Ann's Bay Parish Library on the Lawrence Park grounds.
Flowers were placed by Minister Grange, Dr Garvey, Mayor of St Ann's Bay Councillor Sydney Stewart, and other political representatives from across the parish.