The British Government has announced that it will be providing £240,000 towards the erection of a permanent statue of noted Jamaican-born Mary Seacole, nurse and heroine of the Crimean War, Vivienne Silva reports for the Jamaica Information Service.
The money will come from fines imposed on banks for fraudulently manipulating the foreign exchange markets.
Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, made the announcement during his autumn statement and spending review recently.
The funds will cover installation costs and the creation of a memorial garden.
Jamaican High Commissioner to London, Her Excellency Aloun Ndombet Assamba, welcomed the news of the funding of the Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal.
She said she is very pleased that the statue honouring a worthy and inspirational Jamaican will soon be a reality.
The High Commission has strongly supported the Statue Appeal since it was launched in November 2003.
Mrs. Ndombet Assamba is one of the patrons of the appeal and members of staff of the High Commission have donated £500 to the project this year.
Chair of the Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal, Lord Clive Soley, said that the new funding means that the installation of the statue can now be completed.
“Thanks to the supporters of the appeal, including trustees and ambassadors, the statue has been completed. This new money means that we can now complete the installation next spring. Mary Seacole will finally get the recognition she deserves,” Lord Soley said.
Plans to unveil the statue earlier this year were delayed by an unexpected installation bill of £180,000 for the groundwork and hard landscaping.
The memorial garden will also commemorate health workers, both civilian and military, who have put themselves in harm’s way in conflict zones, or in combating disease such as the recent Ebola crisis.
Mary Seacole, who was born in Kingston in 1805, was well known as a ‘doctoress’ for her work in Jamaica and in Panama.
She set up the ‘British Hotel’ during the Crimean War from 1854 to 1856, where she fed and cared for wounded soldiers. She was posthumously awarded the Jamaican Order of Merit in 1991. In 2004, she was voted the greatest black Briton.