Much is made of destination Kingston, the Jamaican capital a majority identify to be the hub of all things from the island.
However, to many immigrant Kingstonians residing here, the definitive identifier to their roots are the towns they still call home.
Matter of fact, for longer than ever, Jamaica was divided with reference to people from rural areas in other parishes as ‘country’ people or Kingstonians known as people from “town.”
Probably most known as Jamaica’s most acclaimed is Trench Town.
Renowned for cultivating reggae talents — Ken Boothe, Wailing Souls, Toots & The Maytals, Delroy Wilson, The Techniques, Alton and Hortense Ellis, The Paragons, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer and Bob Marley — the world’s most popular Jamaican community for creative talents and the birthplace of reggae is the title of an internationally acclaimed Marley song, “Trench Town Rock.”
Located in the western region of the capital, TT was also the stomping ground of youths from neighboring towns.
Proud and nostalgic former residents of western townships from Rose Town, Allman Town, Denham Town, Jones Town and Hannah Town plan to reminisce their youths all day, Aug. 20 at Prospect Park with an annual reunion of town residents.
Sylvester Williams, an organizer of the West Kingston Reunion in Prospect Park explained that on that date he and former residents of towns in Kingston will reminisce their youth and in the process celebrate the nation they consider home.
“It all started as a boat ride to Bear Mountain,” Williams said, “a few of us used to pack food and have a picnic.”
He said one year, there was a problem with the boat and instead of taking the upstate ride down memory lane, it was decided that the small group would go to Prospect Park.
Since 1972 it became the Boom Town Family Day.
“We planned it for Marcus Garvey’s birthday and it started to build every year.”
Throughout the years, news of the event traveled and like-minded former residents and their families traveled from Canada, the United Kingdom, Jamaica and Florida to join the nostalgic group.
According to Williams, guests brought jerk pork, brown-stew chicken, fish and bammy, mackerel and banana, red herring and crackers, rundown, festival, roast yam, pick-up salt-fish, oxtails, rice and peas, curried goat, escoveitched fish, stew peas and rice, ackee and salt-fish, bun and cheese, fried plantain, steamed fish, hard dough bread, pepper shrimps and foods they ate while living on the Caribbean island.
He said his wife and her friends cooked and provided much of the culinary delights and it was all free to anyone that attended. Now their annual is becoming a benefit to aid the St. Alban’s school in Denham Town. As a courtesy, guests to the free event are asked to contribute school books, backpacks, pens and pencils and school supplies for the youngsters that attend the west Kingston school.
This year, www.iriet
“I have always heard about this reunion and wouldn’t miss my first for anything,” Leroy “Dreamy” Riley said.
This year other residents from — Vineyard Town, Rollington Town, Rae Town, Greenwich Town, Gordon Town, and even boasters from towns not located in Kingston — Nanny Town, Maroon Town, Moore Town and Spanish Town are invited to attend.
Hopefully there will be some sorrel, June plum juice, red coat plum, otaheita apple and other familiar treats
Williams can be reached at nsylv
Catch You On The Inside!