Days afterhis burial had to be abandoned, reggae legend Frederick ‘Toots’ Hibbert willfinally be laid to rest at the National Heroes Park in Kingston.
Toots, who died on September 11, was scheduled to be interred at the Dovecot Memorial Gardens on Thursday following at service inside the chapel of Perry’s Funeral Home in St Catherine.
However,those plans had to be aborted when it was discovered that there was no permitto authorise his burial.
Luckily, onSaturday, Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment andSport, revealed that Toots would now be buried at the National Heroes Park at aspot that was originally made available for late actor and broadcaster CharlesHyatt.
Suitable burial place
She explained,in a statement, that the Hyatt family had requested that the actor be buried atHeroes Park following his death in 2007. However, no space was available at thetime, and he was interred at Meadowrest Memorial Park. When a spot did become available,Hyatt’s remains were supposed to be exhumed, but that did not happen.
“Given thecurrent need for a suitable burial place for the late Toots Hibbert, the Hyattfamily has generously consented to allow the reggae legend to be interred inthe final burial spot in the section for cultural icons in National Heroes’Park,” Grange said.
She continued:“I have received the approval of Prime Minister Andrew Holness to proceedwith plans for the interment of Toots Hibbert in National Heroes Park. I deeplyappreciate the consideration of the Hyatt family in this matter. Toots iswithout question one of the pioneers of reggae music. He has even been creditedwith giving the genre its name. He is a national treasure whose humbledemeanour and affable personality belied his towering global stature. Intermentin National Heroes Park will suitably memorialise his contribution to Jamaicaand reignite the unity in his family, among his peers and his fans which isrequired at this time.”
She alsosaid that the current situation highlights the need for a memorial park for theinterment of cultural icons. She said that a concept has already been developedand a location has been identified.
With a numberof things out of the way, she said that the next step is to go to Cabinet witha proposal that includes a design for the space and a budget.