Repatriate, restore, reopenTuesday, September 21, 2021
The colonial administration had foreseen the need for Jamaica to progress among other agricultural-based colonies like New Zealand and Australia and invest in procuring sites for research work such as Caenwood, Orange River, Bodles, and Grove Place, which are all now closed, while Montpelier has been abandoned.
The year 2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the over-1000-acre Grove Place Research Station in south Manchester. The property was purchased by the Jamaica Government in 1921 from an Englishman.
Since Independence, in 1962, our governments, through their agricultural policies and low budgetary allocations, have contributed to the total collapse of valuable research work of noteworthy Jamaicans, mostly achieved through their personal efforts and patriotism.
For Dr Dinsdale McLeod, a retired Jamaican world-leading scientist on tropical grass research who once worked at Grove Place, the collapse of the scientific ethos of the Ministry of Agriculture is a cause “beyond disenchanted weeping”.
The Manchester site has documented pasture research that provides farmers with information on how best to manage certain grass species under livestock production systems. After its closure in 1996 Dr McLeod carried on extensive research at Alcan during the period 1998 to 2009 with the hope that, after the bauxite was mined at Grove Place, the site would have reopened with personnel equipped to build on his work.
Twenty-five years later, and 100 years since it first opened its doors, the site, with its substantial, valuable research, has collapsed and the buildings left to rot.
Sadly, the collapse of the Grove Place Research Station represents the deterioration of local governance through the parish municipality and its political representatives at Gordon House.
It is time to halt the wanton destruction of the parish's historical landmarks for a few portions of bauxite taxes.
I am calling upon the Manchester Development Committee (MCC), the Manchester Chamber of Commerce (MCOC), along with all Manchesterians to lobby our municipality and Members of Parliament to reopen the Grove Place Research site.
We need to repatriate the research done by Dr McLeod and restore economic activity that can return Jamaica to its place as a world-leading nation in cattle rearing and research.
Dudley C McLean II
Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login