Mayor of Falmouth Garth Wilkinson and social media have started a debate, on whether a statue should be built honouring the undisputed greatest world athlete of all time; and where, Sherwood Content where he was born or Falmouth the parish capital where he attended high school at William Knibb?
We unhesitatingly support the erection of a statue in the parish. If ever there was a child born in Independent Jamaica, who deserves to be honoured and immortalized in this manner, it is Usain “Lightning” Bolt.
We cannot envisage any dissenting voices and urge the relevant authorities to act expeditiously on this one. Such a statue would also have great economic benefit and soon pay for itself, as we foresee fans from all over the globe making pilgrimages to see it and to be photographed with it.
As mayor, Garth Wilkinson is well placed to get the ball rolling on this. On Thursday, September 10, we expect a resolution to be passed by the Trelawny Parish Council of which he is chairman, not just calling for a statue to be erected but setting up a working committee to pursue it vigorously.
There is no doubt that if Jamaica’s budget cannot fund it, then an open request for financial support would be supported overwhelmingly. Bolt is a world figure and his millions of fans worldwide would jump at the opportunity to be a part of honouring him.
On the question of where it should be erected, we strongly suggest Water Square in Falmouth. The sentiment that Sherwood be the location is understood, but we submit that Water Square is the most suited as it would attract far more interest from residents as well as tourists, especially those vacationing between Montego Bay and Ocho Rios.
But we also see it serving as an inspiration to our youth, who will be able to gaze upon it and know that they too can rise from the yam field to command attention on the world stage. As Mayor Wilkinson says, “Bolt has shown characteristics of perseverance, stamina, strength, among other attributes that are highly commendable even outside of sports” and President of the Trelawny Football Association Linnel McLean who notes that a statue of Bolt “will be motivation for other individuals to do their best.”