Black Immigrant Daily News
Sisters, Jacinth and Carla Johnson were overcome with emotion when they received the keys to their new houses in Seville Heights, St. Ann, from Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, just in time for Christmas.
Holness officially handed over the two-bedroom units to the sisters, following a ceremony on Monday, December 19.
The houses, each constructed at a cost of approximately $8 million, were provided under the New Social Housing Programme (NSHP), in collaboration with the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT), to facilitate the relocation of the Johnson sisters, who occupied the boyhood home of National hero, Marcus Garvey, in St. Ann’s Bay, St Ann.
The move paves the way for the construction of the museum in honour of Jamaica’s first National Hero.
Giving the keynote address, the Prime Minister said that while the housing developments did not fit all the standard criteria under the NSHP, special arrangements were made to have the units constructed as a project of national interest.
Holness underscored that Marcus Garvey’s philosophy, work and fight for equality helped pave the way for the liberation of an entire race worldwide, and in that regard, his legacy deserved to be monumentalised.
“In any other country, a figure like Marcus Garvey, whose work, philosophy and leadership contributed significantly to the liberation of an entire race of people, his boyhood home would be a Mecca, a place where people from all over the world, particularly people of African descent, would come to see where it is that he drank water, mixed with the people, had the culture infused and the life experiences from which he was able to generate with great eloquence and clarity of thought,” he said.
The Prime Minister urged Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, to ensure that the museum will be “a first-class museum that reflects his (Garvey’s) vision [and] world outlook”.
For her part, Minister Grange said with the relocation of the occupants of Garvey’s boyhood home, the Government will now take full possession of the property.
“This has been made possible because of the cooperation of two of the Johnson sisters. Today, we can celebrate with them as they, as part of the process, are able to own their own home,” Ms. Grange said.
She thanked the Prime Minister for his commitment to providing social housing under the NSHP and his tremendous leadership of the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation.
An overjoyed Jacinth Johnson expressed gratitude to the Government for making her dream of owning a house a reality.
Carla, who cried tears of joy as she stepped into her new house, said she was grateful to finally have a place to call her own