For many, when the eastern parish of St. Thomas comes to mind there is not much beyond obeah and Paul Bogle. However, with the recent spotlight on the rural parish, it is slowly coming to the forefront for all it has to offer. It is only fair, we take some time to look at the often forgotten parish’s standing, its attractions and what is to come.
St. Thomas, often dubbed the forgotten parish, is one of the most historic parishes in Jamaica’s fight towards independence. Known for the 1865 Morant Bay Rebellion led by national hero Paul Bogle, the eastern beauty is is also recognised for its abundant produce of mangoes. In season, many fruit vendors look to the east for supply. Additionally, it is Kingstonians go-to location for a good “wash off” at Bath Fountain, the healing springs.
‘CHUBBLE’ MEETS BEAUTY QUEEN
Popular names in Jamaican entertainment industry proudly associate their brands with their beloved parish. International Dancehall artiste Popcaan, advocates for development in his home parish and as now pledge to upkeep the tradition of a yearly concert called Unruly fest. The concert, described by some residents as a blessing, has hosted international acts such as Award-Winning Hip-Hop artiste, Drake and R&B chart topping sensation, Tory Lanez. The ‘Stronger Now’ deejay has also met with Prime Minister Andrew Holness, earlier this year to discuss further development of the parish, particularly the roadworks.
Miss World 2019, Jamaican and St. Thomas native, Toni-Ann Singh returned to her home parish following her win in the international competition. The 23-year-old visited the Women's Centre of Jamaica Foundation and in partnership with the Government, plans to construct a nursery will be named in her honor. Singh chose the Women's Centre of Jamaica Foundation location in St Thomas for her 'Beauty With A Purpose' project upon entering the Miss Jamaica World competition and has been
working with the Ministry of Gender to improve the facilities.
ATTRACTIONS IN ST. THOMAS
So if you were to ever visit the parish for yourself, here are some locations and activities to create your own memories in the forgotten parish.
1. Reach Falls
Reach Falls is a natural waterfall that is located near a Blue Lagoon between St. Thomas and Portland. Visitors can take a self guided tour of the falls, plunge into the 30-foot aqua pool and explore the forest and trails while enjoying the scenic views of the region.
2. Morant Point Lighthouse
The Morant Point Lighthouse is located on the easternmost tip of St. Thomas and is the oldest lighthouse on the island. It overlooks the Morant Cays, a small group of islands on a coral reef off the coast of Jamaica. The lighthouse was built in 1841 and is listed as a National Monument by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust.
3. Bath Fountain and Spa
Bath Fountain is known for its natural healing concepts. Located at the foothills of the John Crow mountains, the magical spring is considered a must visit experience for visitors to the parish.
4. Morant Bay Courthouse
Morant Bay Courthouse is one of the island’s historical buildings that stands on the scene of the revolutionary Morant Bay Rebellion and now bears the statue of National Hero, Paul Bogle.
5. Reggae Falls
Reggae Falls might not be the easiest gem to be found but it’s truly a dream when you get the road map. Located in a community called Hillside, the attraction has been a location for many music videos for artistes, such as Konshens, Tarrus Riley and Shenseea, to name a few. The scenic and heavy waterfall is waiting to captivate your heart.