“Earlier this year I was in Africa, and they honoured me by giving me a piece of land. But I want to say it’s good to be honoured in the [Motherland], but here in the parish where I was born, it’s highly appreciated,” said Jimmy Cliff, moments after Montego Bay’s Gloucester Avenue (more popularly known as the ‘Hip Strip’) was officially renamed Jimmy Cliff Boulevard. Given the name James Chambers at birth, the star of the screen classic The Harder They Come and the voice behind such timeless hits as “Many Rivers to Cross” and “You Can Get it if You Really Want” was born at the old hospital 71 years ago. Tourism minister Edmund Bartlett said the re-naming is a most fitting honour for this distinguished son of the soil. “No other Jamaican has been able to span theatre, the big screen, the silver screen, as well as reggae and other musical genres like Jimmy Cliff has done,” Bartlett told the gathering at the ceremony. “And it is against that background that we honour him here in the parish of his birth.” For culture minister Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, Cliff remains “a musical genius whose creative imagination and forceful character have brought fame not only to himself but to Montego Bay, St. James and Jamaica land we love.”
>> Job Well Done: Design Collaborative pockets $5M for stunning Parliament building design
“Our seat of power and authority must also be a standout building that inspires our leaders and incites our people to achieve greatness. So we expect that this building will reflect that image,” says Evan Williams, leader of the Design Collaborative team of architects who are now $5 million richer, having won the Houses of Parliament Design competition. For their stunning design titled “Out of Many, One People,” they also won the People’s Choice Award. “[The building] should be a statement that everyone can relate to, not only locals, but when people living elsewhere think of Kingston they must think about this building first.” Construction work on the new state-of-the-art building, on the grounds of National Heroes Park, is set to commence in 2021.