An exhibition on the life and work of the late cultural icon, Hon. Louise Bennett- Coverley, was opened in the Hanover Parish Library, in Lucea, on September 17, by Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen.
The world renowned folklorist, poet, actress and political and social commentator is regarded as the mother of Jamaican culture.
The Head of State, who was on a tour of the parish, described ‘Miss Lou’, as she was affectionately called, as an icon whose influence on Jamaican culture is wide ranging, noting that she produced poems that could satirize most, if not all situations.
“Miss Lou, whose legacy we remember today, had not only demonstrated the importance of acknowledging and promoting culture as part of the nation’s resources, but she had shown us that when this is shared with others, it increases in value and become sought after by locals and visitors alike,” he said.
“Also, when you believe in what you are doing, if you are energetic in doing that, it somehow has a way of catching on, and if you stick with what you believe long enough, others will believe in it also, and others will come to accept what you are doing,” the Governor-General added.
He said that Miss Lou was successful with her cultural work because, despite criticisms, she believed in what she was doing and had a great deal of determination.
“Today we are proud of her work, so much so, that our students can easily recite and talk about the poems that she had written, and what fun we have from them, and what humor,” the Head of State said.
The Governor-General insisted that the culture of the nation must not be left up to archaeological research to determine what had transpired at a given location at a given time, and that is incumbent on the present generation to document and preserve the nation’s culture in such a way, that it can be passed on to succeeding generations.
Miss Lou, who was born in Kingston on September 7, 1919, died in Toronto, Canada on July 26, 2006.
She was given an official funeral service at the Coke Methodist Church, in downtown Kingston, after which she was buried in National Heroes Park.