Mayor of Falmouth Councillor Garth Wilkinson has revealed that a statue of legendary sprinter Usain Bolt is now ready for erection in Trelawny. However, the exact location for its unveiling is not yet finalised.
“Where we are now, we have a statue commissioned and built. So what we want is where we place that statue,” Wilkinson told the Jamaica Observer West on Tuesday.
“The argument now is we would love the statue to be placed in Falmouth Square [Water Square]. That is where the difference of opinion came – the different views between what we want, and what others think is best for us. The people of Falmouth, the people of Trelawny would want a statue to be placed in the square of Falmouth.”
Among those in favour of siting Bolt’s statue in the historic Water Square in Falmouth is former president of the Trelawny Chamber of Commerce, Dennis Seivwright, who this week renewed calls for a statue of Trelawny’s most famous son.
“Falmouth is short of attractions and we believe that the statue of Bolt in the square of Falmouth would be a major attraction to tourists who can come and pose for photographs; maybe have a box where they can drop a donation for the town of Falmouth to maintain the lighting and the cleanliness of the square at least,” Seivwright argued.
“I have been calling for this for years, [but] to no avail. Bolt’s statue is [all] over the world, even in countries where tourism is not a product; the statue is all over the place, but Jamaica doesn’t have a statue. What are we doing? Why won’t we wake up and stop lip service and start real action into getting tourism up and running?
“Our best product is our people and we have Usain Bolt who is glorified by the world. We need to exploit that.” Seivwright further argued that a statue of Bolt, who turns 30 on August 21, should not only be erected in the Trelawny capital, but also in each parish.
“ But at least let us start it in Trelawny,” the outspoken former Trelawny Chamber of Commerce president appealed.
He was, however, strongly opposed to suggestions that a statue of the mega star be erected on the pier in the town.
“I am appealing once again to the authorities to give us approval for the statue of Usain Bolt [to be placed] in Water Square, Falmouth, and not on the pier, because we have objected to the pier … We need to take action like now. It is not only Dennis Seivwright’s vision, or the Chamber of Commerce’s vision, it is the vision of the people of Falmouth, the people of Trelawny who want it. Ninety-eight per cent of the people of Falmouth say let’s have it. So why are we not having it?” he questioned.
Meanwhile, the mayor hinted that the statue could begin to go up soon after Bolt’s expected exploits on the track in Rio de Janeiro. He also indicated that plans are afoot to name the Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium in Bolt’s honour and the stretch of roadway leading up to the facility in honour of other outstanding Trelawny athletes.
“He (Bolt) is going to break the record for the 200 metres. So with all of that we are looking to see how we can… I do agree with the culture minister [Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange], who thinks that actually the Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium should be named in honour of Usain Bolt. I think it is only fitting that it is something that the people of Trelawny do believe,” Wilkinson said.
“In fact, the road going up there (stadium), we want to dualise that roadway. We want to name it the Olympic Boulevard.”
Bolt, the world’s fastest man, was born in the rural community of Sherwood Content in Trelawny, roughly 10 miles from Falmouth, capital of the parish.
A six-time Olympic gold medallist, the lanky Bolt, who set a 100-metre world record in 2009, will compete in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay later this month at the Rio Olympics now underway in Brazil.