The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), an agency of the Ministry Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport hosted a gathering at the resting place of the late Dr. The Honourable Louise Bennett-Coverley, OM, OJ, MBE, in the National Heroes Park on Wednesday, September 7, 2022. The event was in commemoration of the Jamaican cultural icon’s 103rd birthday anniversary.
In attendance were the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, OJ, CD, MP, members of academia, members of the theatre fraternity, students and other distinguished guests.
Before laying her floral tribute, Minister Grange remarked, “Miss Lou, we will continue to honour you, to remember you, and to celebrate you. You made us proud of our language, you made us proud that we are a creative people, feisty, bragadocious and boonoonoos, all at the same time…as we celebrate you, we celebrate your life and thank God for giving you to the country and making you an inspiration for the young and the old. We will continue to cherish your memory …”
Rasheim Shepherd, Speech and Drama teacher at the Ardenne Preparatory School said, “I deemed it necessary to take students to the event because Miss Lou has done tremendous work for our culture and language. Most prep school students are not comfortable with creole, so I usually refer Miss Lou to them for them to learn her poems…I think it would be great for them to see the magnitude of persons who come out to pay their respect to her.”
About ‘Miss Lou’
Louise Simone Bennett popularly known as ‘Miss Lou’ was born at 40 North Street, Kingston on September 7, 1919. She influenced many aspects of Jamaican life including poetry and music. She can be considered the original dub poet and the social commentator who pioneered the use of the Jamaican patois in live appearances on stage, radio, television and films as well as in printed literature. Miss Lou died on July 26, 2006 in Canada. She was 86 years old. She was accredited an official funeral by the Government of Jamaica which was held at the Coke Methodist Church in downtown Kingston on August 9, 2006 and interred at the National Heroes Park.
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