CALL FOR HEROES Case being made for Marley, Cliff, Miss Lou and Bolt
Written by lightning on December 11, 2021
OPPOSITION Senator Floyd Morris said he will be tabling a motion in the Upper House for Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Miss Lou and Usain Bolt to be named national heroes ahead of the Jamaica’s diamond Independence celebrations next year.
He made the announcement at yesterday’s sitting of the Senate at Gordon House in Kingston.
“Whereas the Honourable Robert Nesta ‘Bob’ Marley”; the Honourable James Chambers, Jimmy Cliff; the Honourable Louise Bennett-Coverley, Miss Lou; and the Honourable Usain St Leo Bolt have all given most distinguished service to Jamaica in the areas of music, sports, and culture; and whereas these citizens have presented Jamaica in a fabulous light across the world and contributed to the dominance of the country in reggae music, sports and culture since the country gained political independence in 1962; and whereas their prodigious efforts through their career have contributed to the global recognition of Jamaica, be it resolved that this honourable senate calls upon the Government to put in place the necessary mechanisms and procedures for these iconic Jamaicans to be declared national heroes and heroines, respectively, and be it resolved that these conferments be made in time for the 60th anniversary of Jamaica’s Independence on August 6, 2022,” Morris said in the sitting.
His statement comes more than a week after Barbadian superstar Robyn “Rihanna” Fenton was conferred the Order of National Hero in her home country. Barbados separated from the British Monarchy and is now a republic.
Born in Nine Miles, St Ann, Marley helped spread reggae to the four corners of the world and is one of the best-selling artistes in music history. He received an Order of Merit from the Jamaican Government. Marley died of cancer in May 1981. He was 36.
Miss Lou was conferred with an Order of Merit by the Jamaican Government for her contribution to the country’s culture in 2001.
The legendary folklorist and actress is often cited as the forerunner of dub poetry, an idiom that emerged during the 1970s when a wave of black consciousness swept Jamaica. She also had a massive influence on Jamaican theatre, appearing in numerous pantomimes. From 1968 until 1980 she hosted Ring Ding, a weekly television variety show on the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation. She died on July 26, 2006 in Canada. She was 87.
Jimmy Cliff has won two Grammy Awards for Best Reggae Album and was awarded the Order of Merit in 2003 by the Jamaican Government. Cliff has appeared in the films The Harder They Come (1972), Marked for Death (1990) starring Steven Seagal, and the comedy Club Paradise (1986), which stars Robin Williams.
Meanwhile, Usain Bolt was conferred with the Order of Jamaica, the island’s fourth-highest honour, in 2009. Bolt holds the title of the world’s fastest man in the 100m world, which record stands at 9.58 seconds. He retired from the track in 2017.