Maritime Museum Of The Atlantic

How did I choose these tours? You can say, they were chosen. But after a while I begin to see a story forming about Nova Scotia. With this museum being the third one, I have now formulated an educated opinion about Halifax: Lots of people died here!

Maritime10This Maritime Museum tour was my preferred, because it speaks to Halifax’s long Maritime history. I could already see that this museum had more than meets the eye. I inquired at the ticket counter where I should start, and the woman gave me a black and white photocopy five by five map of the facility.  There is a movie starting in 10 minutes, she told me, perhaps you can start there. But, this is a self directed tour. The movie was called  The Halifax Explosion. I was one of the first person to sit in the theatre, but by the time it was about to start, all chairs were filled. I can’t recall how the movie started, but I will never forget the big explosion at the end. The bodies. All 2000 of them perished, without so much as a warning.

Maritime15December 6, 1917 approximately 9 ‘0 clock in the morning, there was a miscommunication between two vessels in the harbour, or what the Nova Scotians call, the Narrows. By just looking at the year this event took place, you may have already observed that World War I was going on. Halifax, being on the coast, and selected  to protect Britain, was deeply involved. “Serving as the assembly and departure point for transatlantic convoys carrying supplies and soldiers to the war effort overseas, the small city was quickly evolving into a world class port and major base of naval operations. (1)” Maritime14

One ship, the Norwegian vessel was leaving the Halifax harbour, while another ship, the French Cargo ship, loaded with high explosives, was coming into the the harbour. The two collided in the Narrows, the strait that connects the upper Halifax Harbour to Bedford Basin. The fire broke out on the French vessel, which confused onlookers. They stared out in the Harbour hoping to get an answer as to what was going on. The answer never came. Within twenty minutes the fire grew out of proportion and exploded. Approximately 2,000 people died, and 9,000 were injured. To make matters worse, the worse snow storm hit Halifax and covered the bodies for the winter. The Halifax Wreck exhibit also illustrated what I saw in the movie, except that I could now walk through the ruble myself, even if it was just an exhibit.

“The blast was the largest man made explosion before the development of nuclear weapons (2).”

Maritime8The Titanic connection exhibit was also another extraordinary experience. Unlike the Halifax explosion, most of us have watched the movie. We know what happened. Yet, it felt like I was there as I walked through this exhibit. I saw real artifacts from that time, and place. What does Halifax have to do with the Titanic? The White Starline’s headquarter, the maker of a fleet of vessels, including the Titanic, was located in Halifax. That might have been the reason why approximately 306 dead bodies were brought to Halifax, to be buried. In fact, there are three Titanic cemeteries located here in Halifax: Fairview Lawn, Mount Olivet, and Baron de Hirsch.

In order to ensure that the bodies were identified, and the families aware of their loved ones, the cable ship crew developed a unique system to identify the bodies. They would have kept pieces of the Titanic wreckage in their families, which has now become the essence of this exhibit: Titanic Connection.


A Selection of Titanic Artifacts

The “Unknown” Child’s Shoes
One of the most poignant objects that evoke the solemn and the personal devastation of the sinking are the shoes of Titanic‘s Unknown Child and a mortuary bag which was used to identify and safeguard the personal effects of Titanic victims (3).

My opinion? This is where I realized that Halifax had seen hundreds of brushes with terribly accidental tragedies, that tends to happen out on the sea. There were other exhibits at the Museum too, thereby providing the concept of the lives of those who chose to become sailors; as. a livelihood and maybe even as a calling.

The exhibits explained  that not only were boats built in Halifax, including the Titanic, but that they were maintained  as well. Stores like the Robertson store which was opened from 1841-1976 served to supply sailors with their shipping needs. It had closed after Mr. Robertson retired, around the time the Museum was looking for a home by the Harbour. You could call it providence, Julie my private tour guide told me later. In that the museum is made of two warehouses, along with this store we are standing in. The store has never been altered. I looked around, totally impressed that I was standing in a place that existed centuries ago. This was the feeling I got throughout this experience, and I bet that was the intension of the designers. To put you in a place were history occurred. This is why it’s my preferred museum.


The Halifax Citadel: Lest We Forget

According to my travefy app, my next activity was: The Halifax Citadel. But, lethargy began to kick in. Ten hours had passed since I woke up, six hours since I boarded the plane. I was tired, and hungry. But, the adrenaline pumping through my blood kept me going. It’s only 10 minutes away from Africville. I followed my GPS on Sackville Road, and then up a hill. Signs were pointing to the parking lot, but where was it? Round and round the Fort I drove. Then, I saw an arrow with the P and pointing down a hill. I followed the sign into the parking lot. I am here. But if I don’t eat, I don’t know if I will last through the tour. 

I climbed up stairs into the Fort, and walked around an alley, then into a building. A woman was standing by a cash register. She punched in one ticket for me to see the  tour, quoted me the price: $7.80, then told me what came with it. There is one leaving right now, you can catch them. I didn’t have the energy to rush. Do you happen to have a cafeteria here? Yes. Just behind you, walk all the way to the end. There was an opening there between the wall, with empty dining tables. I continued walking until I found John standing behind the counter. John too had only been in Halifax for three months. He recommended the chicken sandwich. I paid for it, along with a bottle of water, then waved goodbye. I sat in the other room with the dining tables. It was quiet, except for a few couples sitting in the outskirt. Excuse me, when is the next tour, I asked a worker who had been passing. The next one begins 5 pass the hour. My watch said I had all of twenty minutes. Enough time to catch my breath, check voice messages, and return phone calls.

20181002_141953The temperature seemed like it had dropped. After eating, I still had time to walk back to the car to grab my fleece sweater. Now, I was ready for my tour. I returned to stand inside the quadrangle with everyone waiting for the tour to begin. A man neatly cladded in military attire stood erect. Not unapproachable. I wondered if he was allowed to speak. When does the tour begin? In about five minutes. I will be your tour guide. All that, without moving, except for his mouth.

20181002_160115My attention diverted to the loud cries at the other entrance. I didn’t see what was going on, as the crowd surrounded the gate. It’s the changing of the guards ceremony, the officer behind me said. It happens every hour on the hour. More loud cries came from that direction. Then without warning, our tour guide took off towards where the loud cries were coming from. There goes our tour guide, someone said. And in no time, another military officer dressed differently, in a bushy squirrel tale like hat, a kilt, and thick wool black dress jacket covering the kilt. He stood with his riffle in arms, staring where his fellow officer was running. Are you going to give us the tour? Someone asked. He returned a witty response, I’ll try, I’m not prepared for this. He maintained a level of sarcasm throughout his tour. He gave detailed information about the riffle he held in his hand, the history of it, what it was used for, then took us to another location to observe the sergeant shoot with the riffle. Don’t worry, they are all blanks. Or else, we wouldn’t have a wall. His head lifted to point to the wall where the sergeant was aiming.

20181002_141936The information being dispensed about riffle, about shooting, and the cannons that was our next stop, was rather dry; and I wanted to find other interesting things to see.  I stepped out of my place, and moved to the back to observe what else was going on. But, I stayed close to the group. Should I bother staying for the rest of this? It reminded me of sitting in one of my military classes, on my Basic Military Qualifications course, well over a decade ago. Those classes made me battle with my eye lids to stay up. I trekked on with Avery, our sarcastic tour guide. From the cannons, to learning about gun powder. They were all stored in this dark room. We walked though, observing all the barrels of powder, and came out another door. We climbed up the Fort to look at the positioning of the cannons. Everyday at noon, this cannon is fired. You know when it’s lunchtime here in Halifax.

Halifax Citadel Living History

The Halifax Citadel is anything but a simple museum. Every day, the Citadel comes to life with the sounds and colour of its re-enactment interpreters, the 78th Highlanders and the Royal Artillery. Dressed in the same uniforms that their respective regiments wore in the mid-1800s, the 78th Highlanders guard the Citadel’s entrance and conduct marching and band drills on the parade grounds, while the Royal Artillery fires the Noon Gun every day at 12 pm – a Halifax tradition that is one of the oldest in the world. See Website.

After Avery told us all that we needed to know, he took us back to the location where the tour began. I veered off by this time, into the little rooms, curious about what else was on site at this huge Citadel. I sauntered from room to room. Not totally fascinated, but hate to walk away from the Fort of history. I would be dishonouring all those great men who served right here during the world wars. It wasn’t until I walked into the war museum that the dreariness and disinterest lifted. I entered the site of World War I, then World War II, the Korean War, and what shocked me was the sign at the other end of the room: Afghanistan 2001-2014. That took place during my lifetime. Not something I read in the history books. Wars are still happening. That was the end of the exhibits.

20181002_152857Wars are still happening. It’s why we need to keep remembering the past. The Citadel isn’t used anymore, but sits high atop the hills, so that everyone can be reminded, because we just can’t forget. Men and women had given their lives for the cause of freedom, protecting our soil from the enemy, for independence. Wars are still happening. Not always close to home, but across the seas, men and women are still fighting for great causes, including their own lives. History has spoken loud today. I’m left in a somber mood. Reality has set in, again, I must not forget.


Part II: Africville’s Story

I looked around the museum, observing the scanty room with banners hanging orderly by clothes pegs. There was a small jukebox-like machine in different corners that you could listen to elders talk about their experiences of the events that unfolded in their lifetimes. I should have asked the significance of this antique equipment when so many other modern technology could have sufficed. The thought didn’t come to mind then. I was still in a daze when Brittany left me to do my self-directed tour. What else would I need to know after she eloquently filled my head with centuries of history? All that was left to do, was see the  pictures, read the banners, and fill in the details.

Our Church, Our Community

“To understand Africville, you have to know about the church. The church in Africville, founded in 1849, was always a focal part of the community. In 1885, it changed its name from Campbell Road to Africville, and later to Seaview African United Baptist Church. Social life revolved around the church and its leaders were essentially the community’s leaders. Baptisms, weddings and funerals instilled a sense of community in the people. Everything was done through the church: Clubs, youth organizations, ladies’ auxiliary and Bible classes’. It was the centre of unity and belonged to everyone in the community.

See article: Africville’s Story: The Spirt Lives On

20181002_124410I walked in a chronological direction, that way I could follow the sequence of the stories. From the banners, I gathered life in Africville was typical of any rural community. People went to church, their children played together: soft-ball in the summer and hockey in the winter. They went to school, church, and played with friends.

Adults went to work. They farmed, fished, and raised cattle. With the growth in the city, some residences went off to the city to work for the government; as porters on the railway, labourers, stevedores on Pier 9, and in the factories. Women also found work as domestics, seamstresses, factory workers, and at the Infectious Diseases Hospital.

Africville had its challenges. It was separated from the city geographically and because of its racial make up. The residents struggled to obtain a level of services within their community. They just didn’t have political power or influence with City Officials. Perhaps one of the reason the residence didn’t want to leave was the loyalty towards the founding families.

Founding Families: The first purchases of land were made by William Arnold, William Brown, Eppy Carvery, Henry Hill and Bennett Fletcher.

One day though, everything changed. The songs stopped. The playing stopped. How could the government be so, so… But I cannot judge. I will take in this piece of history, not through lens of anger, but with an open heart that seeks to understand. With the bulldozing, and the evicting, the trauma, and the death, Africville was no more.20181002_124735

“Oh Africville, Africville

No more can I call you my home

Oh Africville, Africville

I want to go home”

Written by: Ruth Johnson

History sure has a way to open your eyes to reality. The one we live in was a fight for our ancestors long ago. Does Halifax’s history have anything to do with me? This was were Jamaican Maroons also came. Probably, they lived in Africville too. They may have had to face the same unimaginable lack of services. Was that the price for freedom? Separated, but equal?

How can we take it for granted when it wasn’t always so…

See Video: I Did Not See The Flowers

Africville’s Story: The Spirit Lives On

There is this feeling when you’re driving in a new country, or in this case Province, for the first time. You don’t actually know where you’re going, where each stoplight will be, where the highway is, or how the roads merge; you simply obey instructions from the GPS. With a great GPS though, all you have to do is absorb the terrain around. Then there is this other feeling. I am driving on the streets of my dreams. You know that feeling of wanting to do something for a long time, and now you’re actually doing it. There is nothing like it. Driving was smooth the whole way from the airport until I was about 7 minutes from my destination. I needed to keep straight on Lady Hammond Road, but it was hard to read the signs up ahead.  The lane I was in, was in fact a turning lane, and I could not see it until it was too late. I tried merging into the lane on my right, but was honked by incoming traffic. I realized, that lane too was also turning. I needed to be in the third lane over! The signs were totally off. Those sign makers didn’t seem to notice that the lanes curved and don’t reflect where the arrows were pointing. I followed the turning lane, then did a lane change after passing the traffic lights. The GPS rerouted. I obediently followed, for what felt like forever. I was beginning to think it was confused. It’s hard to know now, but I might have done three circles, and hadn’t noticed; at least not until when I saw Lady Hammond Road sign again. She didn’t fool me this time!

20181002_124355Now that I was on the right track, I followed the GPS into what seemed like a truck park. All I could see were big trucks. The GPS insisted that I was going in the right direction. I decided to stop and ask to be sure. I mean I was only 2 minutes from Africville Museum. The man I asked, pointed up ahead. It was the same direction my GPS was taking me. Now I could see an actual two-way road. I was on a street called Africville. Finally, I spotted the Museum sign on a post, but all I saw was a small house overlooking the sea. Where is the rest of the Museum? Had it closed? I parked my car and decided to try opening the doors. It opened. Brittany, who was standing at the entrance, greeted me. Immediately we bonded. I went straight to telling her how hard it was to find the museum. How I stumbled on some trucks, and was confused. How I made a few circles. How this was my very first stop in Halifax and I had just gotten off the plane. And how I was so excited to be there. Brittany said I wasn’t the only one that had difficulty finding the museum. That couple walked for 54 minutes trying to find the location. She pointed to the couple who had turned around to validate with a nod. She empathized with me. I was done venting, and was ready for my tour.

Brittany walked me to the first banner, Welcome to Africille, it read. She talked me through the entire history. I decided I had to take notes. Slaves had arrived in Halifax as early as the 1700s, but it was not until the 1800s when they were promised they could purchase land. Back then, Africville was called Campbell Town. These men and women paid their taxes, but did not receive services like other communities: No paved roads, no sewers, and no running water. Eventually, these deficiencies became the norm.

AfricvilleIn the 1940s, Africville was now on the Government’s priority list. It was a prime location as the community was located on the harbour. The Government needed these people to leave. As a result unwanted services were sent there: Bone Crushing company, Slaughter Houses, Infectious Disease Hospital for men who came from the war, and a Medical Waste Dump. To add to that, in the 1950s when the government was deciding on a possible location for the city dump; Africville was selected, as it would pose a health risk for other communities like Fairview. People got sick, and it cost people their lives.

20181002_120927By the 1960s the government realized the people of Africville still hadn’t left their homes as they had anticipated. Drastic measures had to be taken. Government staff went door to door to make promises of a home-for-a-home in a different community. It didn’t work. The community wasn’t buying any more unkept promises. As a result, the city came with a garbage truck to evict the residences. Houses were bulldozed, including the only community church. A beacon to the community. The entire experience of being evicted from their houses, and having to leave the only home they knew, was totally traumatizing. They ended up living in subsidized houses. To this day, generations of the earlier families are still living in subsidized housing.

However, in 2010, Mayor Peter Kelly apologized. But, what was the purpose of the apology? Could it undo the scares that already had its crippling effect? Funds were offered by the government to purchase 2.5 acres of land. This is the land in which this church, and now museum stands. Brittany paused. The story had settled inside my heart. Does the community still exist? This museum is the only remnant of the existence of Africville. But, it also exist in the hearts of those who experienced it, so the spirt lives on. It’s hard to forget.


Approximately six o’clock this morning boarding began for Swoop Airlines in Hamilton at gate 3, leaving for Halifax. It was my first time on this airline, and my first time going to Halifax. Swoop Airline is new, has ultra low fare, and takes you anywhere around Canada. For a one way fare from Hamilton to Halifax, I paid $99. The fine detail is that everything has a price, and you decide what you need. My carry on cost $30, which was still at a reasonable $129. Boarding was on schedule. I took my seat in a somewhat confined space. I had the corner seat, fourth row from the front. I stealthily took my jacket off, trying to avoid hitting the lady sitting in the middle seat in the face, then tucked it under the seat in front next to where my purse was sitting. The flight attendants came with their food tray about an hour later. I didn’t bother asking about the price, as I had my french vanilla from Timmys that I purchased earlier. It was only a two-hour flight, from take off to landing.


For the first time since I’ve been flying, more than 20 years ago, I had a chance to go inside the cockpit to meet William, the pilot and the co-pilot, all thanks to the flight Attendants, Danielle and Nicole. This marked the beginning of an extraordinary day, even if I didn’t know it when I stepped off the plane.

There is a first time for everything.

I stepped into Halifax on a mission. I was going to learn as much as I could about the City. First, I had to pickup my Rental Car from Enterprise. Mark was soft spoken and weaved in personal information about himself as he conducted the business transaction. Without looking up from his computer, he responded to a question I had asked about his wedding band. No, I wasn’t trying to pick Mark up! His wedding band was nothing I had seen before. Like a flower shaped diamond on the top of a thick band. My Dad had given it to me before he passed, and my wife insisted that I wear it. I’ve only seen one other person wearing the same ring. Mark was also wearing a logo of the Chicago Cubs as a cufflink. I didn’t bother inquiring about that. I could see that he had a few sentimental pieces, that he was proud of wearing. After he completed the transaction; my request of a seven day rental, and a free upgrade, he directed me to sit in the waiting area. Kayla would call you when the vehicle is ready, Mark informed me. 20181002_102154Kayla marched to the area with her iPad in hand, called me by last name, and walked me into the parking lot. We gave you a free upgrade, it’s sort of like a SUV and it comes with a built in GPS. I don’t care what kinda vehicle it is Kayla. We both laughed. This is it. She pointed to the blue Nissan Rogue Sports vehicle. This is perfect. After the typical routine of walking around the vehicle and checking for damages, I signed my initial on her iPad. Kayla did a quick review of the general car features (upon my request), then sauntered off to the next customers. We’re here if you have any questions. Have a great trip!

I loaded the vehicle with my one luggage, took out my cell phone to view my itinerary on the travefy app: A Tour of Africville museum.

Finding Stillness In Jamaica

It’s easy to become fixated with making schedules, but it’s much easier to stay calm and let everything fall into place. When I am still, the things my heart truly desires, come right to me. I hear God’s voice whispering…this is the way. 

This morning I woke up early anticipating my first radio interview. I was going to tell my story to others who live in the Diaspora and are interested in visiting or living in Jamaica, but might have reservations. I stood in front of the desk where my laptop and phone were sitting; near the window, overlooking the busy street of Hope Road. I could easily see above the other low rise buildings from the fourth floor, and if I squinted; far, far in the distance, there was Devon House.

Living in Jamaica, independently, was the mission for this trip. It had already been a week. So far, I had taken the taxis on my own, gone grocery shopping, and visited a number of restaurants with friends. Neither did I plan to have a radio interview this morning, nor did I anticipate staying with a colleague from the Business school. All of it just sort of happened. Happening. After the interview, I had my heart set on going to the beach since it was a Sunday, but the rain was coming down, like shards of glass.

With a few minutes of stillness, I found my equilibrium. This trip is about going with the flow, not setting down definitive plans like I often do. With the rain slowing, I decided, No, not the beach. To Hope Gardens instead. On my own. My colleague dropped me at the gates, despite my insistence that I take the local taxi. I walked down the long path leading to the second entrance to the gardens, and a very lanky fellow staggered in front of me, then slowed his pace. “Are you waiting for me to catch up?” I asked as an opener to a conversation. He laughed, and turned to look down. “Are you going to the garden too?” He wasn’t. He was going to another event occurring at the same venue. We now walked side by side, through the gates, and since neither one of us wished to separate, we took the scenic route around the garden…talking about our lives. Where I was from…What was I doing here… Where I worked.. What my plans are for the next two weeks of my trip…until we found his event, and I saw the entrance to the Zoo. It’s funny how things happen. Always, when you don’t plan on it. These are the situations I tend to find myself in, which makes me feel that I am never truly alone. There is always someone who come along my path.

The Zoo was just as I last recall three years ago. The same paradise with bright colours bursting out at me. My eyes soaked up the beauty.pdwm.php

It’s how I feel about Jamaica. Even though I arrived alone, I’m not. I’m surrounded by so many friends to help me enjoy my home. On the first day, I thought I was going to starve. It was my fault. I should have asked George to stop for food, on the way to the airbnb where I was staying. When I arrived and settled in, I thought I would have time to walk outside on my own. I forgot that it was dark by 6pm. There was no way I was going to leave this house, to go out there alone, by myself, to wander…No way. I decided I wouldn’t die from hunger. Thankfully, it wasn’t the case that I would go without food overnight. An honoured friend came to my rescue, and took me out to the jerk chicken street vendor, further down on Hope Road. It was later in the week I realized that the vendor was only a five minute taxi drive away. That’s what I ate for dinner, with coconut water.

King's House edit1Before the sun came out the following day, I was wide awake..whether from hunger, or the fear of it. I was determined to get to know my surroundings. By 6:30, I went out for a walk. I turned on Musgrave Road, then walked across Hope Road. It always scares me to cross the streets in Jamaica. It reminded me of when I was ten years old, and needed someone to hold my hand. I wish someone could still hold my hand as old as I am. The streets are just so damn intimidating. I was glad I was still alive on the other side of the street, where less cars were travelling. I saw the outskirts of the Kings House…where I believe the Prime Minister has his meetings. On my way back home, I decided to call George to take me out to get breakfast, and help me run my errands. It would make my life easier, as costly as it would be.

Sovereign Mall was not open at 9am in the morning, so I requested to go to the University instead. It was a good idea, because I reconnected with the staff, and with friends, plus there was a Digicel store and a bank side by side. It was my first day of independence, and even if I wasn’t certain about each step of the way, I intended to figure it out. Things went smoothly as they often do. The best part was when I visited the grocery store after my trip to the University.  There, I purchased all that I would need for a week, and by 5pm, George took me home, in time for me to start getting dressed for dinner. Truly, it wasn’t a bad first day. My check list of errands were completed: I ate breakfast at Juici Beef, I now had Jamaican currency, a Phone with credit, groceries in my room, and now I was going out with friends for dinner. It was an ordinary day in Jamaica, just the way I wanted it.


Jamaica: Overcoming All Odds In The 18th Century

There has never been a dull moment in Jamaica’s history. The amount of transitions the country has undergone over the centuries can be drawn as a series of fluctuations, which inadvertently, creates economic instability. As a World-player, Jamaica’s competitive advantage is that, it truly knows how to thrive, especially when the possibilities are grim. Thus, Investors will simply have to be comfortable with extreme volatility, to do business with Jamaica.

Life in Jamaica had started long before the 18th Century, but let’s begin there. By then, the British took over Jamaica, from the Spanish who had been occupying the island since the late 17th century. Subsequently, the British brought over hundreds of thousands of enslaved Africans from Africa to work on the Sugar Plantations. For every plantation, there was a median of approximately 150 Africans, all owned by wealthy Englishmen.Jamaica

When the Spanish left, there were remnants of enslaved Africans who fled to the mountainous interiors of Jamaica. They were known as the Maroons, a term meaning a slave who escaped. So, while there were new enslaved Africans brought over to work on the Sugar plantations, there were these Maroons that were living independently in the same country.

The Maroons were thriving under their own organized structure. Settlements were created. There were intermarriages with native people of Jamaica, and their livelihood came  from subsistence farming and raiding the plantations, looking for food no doubt. The First Maroon War took a toll on the British troops; and as such in 1739, an agreement, between the British and the Maroons, was written. The terms included: (1) The Maroons would remain in their 5 towns (Accompong, Trelawny Town, Moore Town, Scott’s Pass, and Nanny Town),  (2) They had to live under their own ruler and a British Supervisor. (3) They could not harbour runaway slaves, but to catch them instead. (4)  They served to protect the Island from invaders. The leader of one of the settlements, Cudjoe, “felt that the only hope for the future was honorable peace with the enemy, which was just what the British were thinking.”

Jamaica Given the fact that the wealthy Englishmen were living in England, they hired buccaneers or pirate to control the plantations. Obviously, this arrangement did not go so well. It’s similar to having criminals head an organization. Who does that?! Naturally, the results weren’t pretty. In 1760, the Tacky revolt broke out. These uprisings are generally the result of working under difficult conditions, and the enslaved workers were not being treated well. One of the slave overseer on the St. Mary Plantation, Tacky, most-likely a mixed race individual, led a group of enslaved Africans in taking over the Frontier and Trinity plantations while killing their enslavers. This uprising ended poorly because approximately 70 to 80 mounted militia came along with Maroons (bounded by treaty) to suppress the rebellion. Tacky was shot, and his head cut off as deterrence to any who dared the same. The rest of Tacky’s men committed suicide, a better solution than to go back to slavery.


While the First Maroon War resulted in Cudjoe’s Treaty of 1739, the Second Maroon War started because there was a breach of the said treaty. Two Maroons were flogged by a Black Overseer because they stole two pigs. When the grievance was taken to the British by six maroons, they found themselves held prisoners. This led to a five month guerrilla warfare. Both sides were strong; the British outnumbered the Maroons 10-1, but the Maroons knew the mountains and forests well, and used the terrain to their advantage. In the end, the Maroons surrendered because of the stalemate. The British told them they had three days to “beg for apology”. Beg? These brave heroes were going to beg? Well, the Maroons surrendered in there own way, and not my the rules set out by the British. It was not until two months passed, mid-March, before they decided to thrown in the white cloth. Why did they? I would like to think it was because of so many years of fighting, and there leader was now old and not as brave as he one were. When they did, the British chose to remove them from the island immediately because of the risk of more rebellions. The first ship was sailing to Nova, Scotia, Canada, and history had it, the Trelawny Maroons were sent to live there for approximately four years before they were returned to Africa. If not, there would certainly be more rebellions in Jamaica.

RelatedPort Royal

The take-away in this time period is that the Maroons (fellow Jamaicans) demonstrated continuous perseverance, courage, and unity to stand up to the British. Additionally, the uprisings from the enslaved Africans are actually notable victories; and demonstrates the immense  desire to survive, the willingness to risk it all (including life), for the sake of freedom. Jamaica’s history speaks volume about the gene that is still running in every Jamaican’s vein, down to the very soil that can tell the story of the countless men and women it has covered. Obstacles are not obstacles, only another challenge to demonstrate the vivacity of the people. It is why the businesses and the people that come from this country thrive. If you can be successful in that small island, you can be successful anywhere in the world.

The best of both worlds

Shauna Cassell's Journey

I decided to stop at Devon House this past Friday at mid-day,  as I was about to walk by it to take a taxi back to campus. I was travelling with my course text-book and thought, how different it would be to sit and read in a garden. I picked a solitary spot where unoccupied benches were gathered, then took a moment to gaze around. Perfectly manicured trees and grass everywhere just slowed my heartbeat to match the calm rhythm of nature around me. I began to contemplate about how nice it would be to have my very own future backyard look this way.

It’s not easy taking this MBA program, but living on a tropical island balances everything.

The best of both worldsI needed a change in my life and I have found it here in Jamaica. When days are stressful, a look at the breathtaking landscape and the feeling of the blazing sun alone, puts things into…

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