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Signs And Storyboards Placed At Heritage Sites In Portland

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The Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT) has erected nine signs and storyboards throughout Portland to identify designated heritage sites in the parish.

The sites are: the Port Antonio Railway Station, Buff Bay Courthouse, St. George’s Anglican Church in Buff Bay, Old Port Antonio Court House, Port Antonio Cenotaph, Port Antonio Christ Church, Titchfield High School compound, the Demontevin Lodge Guest House, and the Titchfield Hill peninsula.

A joint group from the JNHT and the Digicel Foundation, which provided funded for the project, chose the sites. The main criteria for selection were the existence of some form of tenure, which would ensure their maintenance after installation, and that they would be visible enough to attract public interest.

At a ceremony held at the Titchfield High School on Wednesday (December 1) to officially unveil the sign and storyboard for the heritage site, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Olivia Grange, commended the JNHT and the Digicel Foundation for partnering to illustrate and explain the history and significance of Portland.

She said the fact that the signs “sit in front of the beautiful historic structures for which they have been designed, makes them even more visible and appealing”.

The Minister, in her message, which was read by Executive Director of the JNHT, Laleta Davis-Mattis, exhorted the citizens of Portland to protect the storyboards and the heritage sites and to use the opportunity to create tour options for local and overseas visitors to the parish.

Miss Grange stated that Jamaica, with its rich cultural heritage, has the potential to become a major destination for heritage tourism, which she said, was the fastest growing market in the world. She cited, among other things, the construction of the cruise ship pier in Falmouth and plans by the JNHT to pursue development in Port Royal and Seville.

In his address, Executive Director of the Digicel Foundation, Major General Robert Neish, said the body was proud to be involved in the project as it provides exposure to the culture and history of the country.

He stressed however, that the organisation’s major focus was on the improvement of literacy and numeracy in primary schools, pointing out that the Foundation was working closely with the Ministry of Education in that effort.

Other speakers at the function included Project Coordinator at the JNHT, Gavern Tate, who gave an overview of the project; Principal of Titchfield High School, Richard Thompson; and Mayor of Port Antonio, Councillor Floyd Patterson.

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