Just across from our location at the Ministry of Finance Building, is one of Jamaica’s most famous historical sites. The National Heroes Park is a botanical garden located in Kingston, Jamaica and is the burial site for many of the cultural leaders, Prime Ministers and National Heroes. In 1973, when the park was founded it was known as the National Heroes Park. Previously, it was a horse racing track known as Kingston Race Course.
In 1905, the track was converted to a public park and renamed George VI Memorial Park in honour of King George VI of the United Kingdom. When Jamaica gained Independence in 1972, the park’s name was again changed to its current name.
The park is currently maintained by the Parks Division of Jamaica’s National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) and security is provided by a formal honour guard from the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) with a changing of guards every hour.
The Jamaica War Memorial is a prominent feature of the park honouring the Jamaicans killed in combat during World War I and World War II.
The monument for Marcus Garvey consists of a tomb at the centre of a raised platform in the shape of a black star. The Monument for Donald Sangster consists of an opposed pair of curved members, turning inward and wider at the top than at the novel base.
Norman Manley’s monument contains 12 pillars, arranged in two concentric circles, with the inner pillars taller than the outer ones. Sir Alexander Bustamante’s monument is an arch, narrow at the top and widening toward the base, which stands above Bustamante’s tomb, finished with marble from the region.
Nanny’s monument reproduces the sound of the abeng and Samuel Sharpe’s monument is shaped like a Greek cross, to honour his Baptist faith, and its corners are left open as a representation of freedom. The Monument for Michael Manley’s monument resembles a graph of exponential growth when viewed from the side.
A bust of General Antonio Maceo was added as a donation from the people of Cuba, in recognition of Jamaica having offered him asylum. A monument also serves as a burial site for 140 elderly women killed in a fire at the Myers Ward of the Eventide Home for the Aged.
Be sure to take a walk over to the park today and get informed about our rich heritage and culture and learn something new about our national heroes.
Source: Jamaica Observer