Book Review: “Portland: The Other Jamaica”

Posted by on Jan 30, 2011 in Blog, Jamaican History & Heritage, Portland Jamaica | 0 comments

Book Review: “Portland: The Other Jamaica”
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"In 2008, on a visit to Port Antonio, it occurred to me that the history of Portland was begging to be told." (Ken Roueche)

We all know I LOVE Portland, and last month I was browsing one of my favorite blogs (The Errol Flynn Blog) for info on Port Antonio. Much to my delight, I was turned on to an interesting book! I had to buy Portland: The Other Jamaica, by Canadian author Ken Roueche, because I'm fascinated with the Parish's 400 year history (and that of Jamaica in general). I have not been disappointed! The book contains some charming historical photos and the nicely researched tales of the interesting people, places and events in the Parish make for compelling reading.

I particularly appreciate that Mr. Roueche involved the people of Portland in the telling of their own stories. It always adds authenticity to the tales when not entirely told by an "outsider". I recommend the book to anyone with an interest in the history of Portland, or Jamaica in general, and to any Portlander who wants to learn more about the fascinating history of his/her home Parish!

For more information about the book and its author, check out this review at Caribbean Book Blog.

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"Portland: The Other Jamaica - Tales of Dreamers, Schemers and Crusaders"

Portland: The Other Jamaica by Ken Roueche offers a glimpse into the history of this most beautiful parish, stretching from Buff Bay to Hector's River and up the many river valleys to the Blue Mountains.

Portland has been home to some remarkable people, including more than a few dreamers, schemers and crusaders. Shaped by the heavy hand of Mother Nature, Portland is blessed with outstanding beauty and challenged by remarkable geography, which provided a perfect homeland for the Windward Maroons as they fled the terror of colonial oppression under the spiritual leadership Nanny.

The 1739 Maroon Treaty was followed by the invasion of British planters with their toxic mix of slavery, violence and sugar. The end of slavery opened up abandoned plantations and mountain villages to modest opportunities for liberated slaves. Within a generation their sons and daughters were enterprising banana farmers responding to the call from Captain Baker to grow banana for the world. Portland soon became the "Banana Capital of the World". This was followed by the arrival of the railway which spurred even more banana production and helped launch the tourist industry and the building of the Titchfield Hotel.

Many of the world's major events have shaped Portland's history, including Port Antonio's strategic location during the Spanish American War and the loss of so many young men during the Great War. The Parish has also been blessed with great leaders including Captain Quao, Ken Jones, Sir Harold Allan and many others. In recent years Portland has also attracted the attention of Hollywood stars, starting with Errol Flynn and followed by Queens, Princes, Princesses, Barons, Captains of Industry and more movie stars. And today the dreamers and schemers are still coming to Portland.

To buy Portland: The Other Jamaica, click here.

To contact Ken Roueche, you may call 2509-384-7606 or write to kroueche@shaw.ca.

From Portland: The Other Jamaica.

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