Trelawny welcomes decision to install Bolt's statue in Water SquareThursday, August 27, 2020
BY HORACE HINES
FALMOUTH, Trelawny — STAKEHOLDERS in Trelawny have expressed delight that a statue of legendary sprinter and native of the parish Usain Bolt is soon to be erected in the historic Water Square, Falmouth, to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the Trelawny capital.
The announcement was made earlier this week by Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange.
“This is very significant for us at the Trelawny Municipal Corporation [TMC], who have fought tooth and nail to have the statue erected in Water Square. At one stage there were lobbies for it to be erected on the port instead, but we were determined to have it in the square,” an elated Colin Gager, mayor of Falmouth and chairman of the TMC, told the Jamaica Observer West yesterday.
“We are now looking at the site where we want to erect it in Water Square,” he added.
President of the Trelawny Chamber of Commerce Delroy Christie was equally enthused about the news that the long-awaited statue is now ready to be erected in the town.
“Long overdue!” was his terse response.
Bolt, who hails from Sherwood Content in Trelawny, was born on August 21, 1986 and is a sprint triple world record holder. He is widely considered to be the greatest sprinter of all time.
Gager expressed confidence that the statue of the iconic athlete in Water Square will further boost the town as a tourist attraction.
“We are happy that the statue will be erected in the square where our people could come and take pictures; where it could also be useful to lure cruise passengers off the port,” the Falmouth mayor posited.
Christie, who expressed similar sentiments, in the meantime implored residents to protect the sculpture when it is erected.
“It will certainly attract visitors, locals and persons overseas to come and look at it,” Christie said.
The town of Falmouth is this year celebrating its 250th anniversary and a raft of activities were planned to mark the occasion.
But, for the most part, the celebratory events, which were to be spearheaded by the TMC in partnership with the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Minister Grange shared that as part of the planned celebrations she had promised that the statue of the retired track star would be mounted in Water Square.
“Myself and a team met with Mayor Gager and the council [TMC] late last year to finalise plans to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the founding of Falmouth. I made a commitment then that a statue of Usain would be erected in Water Square as a lasting legacy and tribute to the people of the parish of Trelawny and its achievements,” Grange remarked.
She added: “Falmouth's Mayor Colin Gager and the Trelawny municipality, along with the people of the parish, are looking forward with great anticipation to the erection in the town square of a statue of the parish's own Usain Bolt, the greatest sprinter of all time. In fact, the people have been calling for it.”
She disclosed that the statue is a replica of the monument in Statue Park at the National Stadium in Kingston and was done by sculptor Basil Watson. Grange further revealed that the statue is presently at the wharf and will be cleared before the end of the week.
“For the people of Trelawny, a statue of Usain Bolt in Water Square to mark the 250th anniversary of capital, Falmouth, is a most fitting tribute to the parish and its most famous son who took Jamaica to heights not attained before in sprinting,” the sport minister said.
Gager expressed that the erection of Bolt's statue takes on added significance in that most of the events planned for the year-long celebrations have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“So this may be the only thing we can do and we have to bear in mind it has to be undertaken with strict adherence to the established COVID-19 protocols,” the Falmouth mayor expressed.
He noted that the municipality is, however, mulling the staging of a grand event to mark the 250th anniversary of the Trelawny capital.
“It all depends on how this COVID thing works out but maybe later down we will have to plan a one big thing, even if it is not in this year. But, this would be one of the things that we could have just to give the people a taste of what would have come if it had not been for COVID,” he explained.