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Mandeville and the south coast


More than a trace of Old England still lingers in the parish of Manchester, where cool mountain breezes tempt even confirmed beach and sun goers to escape from the sand.
It would be a shame to visit Jamaica and miss out on this cool, clean and green parish wedged between Clarendon and St. Elizabeth parishes in central Jamaica. The elevation and mountain breeze create an enticing and temperate tropical climate characterized by pleasantly warm days and cool nights.

It's a major contributing factor why Manchester has become perhaps Jamaica's premier retirement location for residents returning from abroad, including those from the United States, United Kingdom and Canada.

Because of the parish's mountain terrain, it does not allow for large-scale cultivation of such crops as sugar cane, which requires large tracts of flatland. But the parish is noted for a prodigious yield of oranges and ortaniques, a delicious cross between an orange and tangerine. And most of the potatoes that feed the rest of Jamaica come from the town of Christiana and surrounding area. This region is the center of a large banana and ginger-growing district. 


Tropical plants such as hibiscus, bougainvillea and orchids flourish in the parish's benign climate.
Begonias and nasturtiums grow wild. Significant bauxite and other industries are other trademarks of the parish. Academically, Manchester goes to the head of the class on island with more than a handful of places of higher learning and private educational institutions attracting students from across the globe.

The heartbeat of Manchester and its capital is the historic town of Mandeville, a thriving mountain retreat about 2,000 feet above sea level, situated about 6S miles from Kingston.

The parish of Manchester was created in 1814, pieced together from other parishes., Two of Jamaica's most prominent cultural influences Marcus Garvey and Norman Manley, both national heroes, had close ties to Manchester.
Garvey championed the rights of Africans throughout the world during a critical period in their evolution. Born in Jamaica in 1887, his writings and speeches on dignity and freedom for black people everywhere have influenced generations of civic leaders. It made him Jamaica's first national hero. In 1923, Garvey arrived in Resource in South Manchester to thank the people for supporting his shipping enterprise and lived among them for several months. Garvey used to preach from the town's piazza, which still stands today.
Liberty Hall, the town hall founded by Garvey, is one of two in Jamaica and each year a celebration is held on the grounds honoring Garvey.

Manley, the founder of the People's National Party and Premier 1955-1962, hails from Roxborough. Manley's cousin and future political rival, Alexander Bustamante, worked for a while on the Manley farm in Roxborough. Manley's single-minded pursuit of political independence made him a hero of the emerging middle class.
No doubt, today's Manchester is on the move. Growing at an unprecedented rate, the parish continues to foster economic prosperity, cultural vibrancy and social advancement, as Manchester Parish Council members point out.

The council's vision of the future includes an assurance that Manchester will keep its reputation for being cool, clean and green, the economy will grow and diversify, visitors will continue to recognize the parish's natural beauty and heritage, and residents will respect the land which provides sustenance. Much of the success of planned trade and investment growth is attributable to the Manchester Chamber of Commerce, which continues to playa productive role in fostering economic development.

{CREDIT} Article taking from the Jamaica Mandeville and South Coast Guide


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