Wed | Feb 8, 2023

November groundbreaking for German-Jamaican museum

Published:Monday | October 31, 2022 | 12:08 AMLester Hinds/Gleaner Writer
In this September 25, 2006 photo, Fitzroy Chambers, a community historian for Seaford Town, Westmoreland, points to the oldest grave in the Sacred Heart Mission burial plot. Dated March 4, 1928, the plaque bears the name of German descendant Charles Wedemi
In this September 25, 2006 photo, Fitzroy Chambers, a community historian for Seaford Town, Westmoreland, points to the oldest grave in the Sacred Heart Mission burial plot. Dated March 4, 1928, the plaque bears the name of German descendant Charles Wedemire.

A German-Jamaican museum is to be established in Seaford Town, Westmoreland, aimed at highlighting and commemorating the contribution of Germans to the development of the Caribbean island. The museum will be established in conjunction with the...

A German-Jamaican museum is to be established in Seaford Town, Westmoreland, aimed at highlighting and commemorating the contribution of Germans to the development of the Caribbean island.

The museum will be established in conjunction with the Rosette Tinglin Cultural Centre to be established in Bethel Town.

The museum and cultural centre are estimated to be developed at a cost of US$8 million. Ground is expected to be broken in November. Funding for the project will come from several sources, including fundraising efforts.

The cultural centre will be situated on lands behind the Bethel Town Police Station while the exact location for the museum has not been identified.

Bill Tinglin, the son of the late Rosette Tinglin and the mover behind both projects, said that establishing a German-Jamaican museum will bring to the forefront the contributions that Germans have made to Jamaica over the years.,

The museum will have a virtual component, with holograms, artificial intelligence, and interactive technology honouring German-Jamaicans.

“We acquire research, oral/visual exhibits, and tangible and intangible historical, scientific, and community collections, reflecting the German Jamaican community’s historical heritage. The German-Jamaican community, memories, heritage, knowledge, and German European heritage express a learning environment interacting with the artifact collections,” said Tinglin

The first batch of Germans to arrive in Jamaica came at the bidding of Solomon Myers, a German Jew, who owned a small coffee plantation called Mount Pleasant in the mountains above Buff Bay. This group of 64 Germans, recruited by Myers’ brother in Bremen, Germany, arrived on a ship called Anna in Kingston on May 24, 1834, and consisted of 25 men, 18 women, and 21 children.

Seaford Town is the most well-known German settlement on the island.

Tinglin said that the museum would entertain thousands of people annually and produce opportunities for employment and financial stability.

The Rosetta Tinglin Cultural Centre in Bethel Town will incorporate advanced 21st-century technological training, computer technology, vocational training, environmental safety training, social development training, learning German as a second language, cultural inclusion, and academic skills training by establishing a cross-cultural student exchange programme.

“The cultural centre will elevate and serve the people to develop better housing and access to better healthcare, creating greater self-sufficiency and financial stability. The cultural centre will have concerts, plays, drama, and a conference centre to hold meetings, serving as a revenue-building stream for the community,” he said.

Northern Caribbean University, The University of the West Indies, Columbia University, and Heidelberg University are among the groups involved in the museum development.

Other partners are the Social Development Commission and the ministries of tourism, culture, foreign affairs and economic growth, among other agencies.