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Former Maroon colonel lashes out on casino facility discussions

Source: Claudia Gardner, Jamaica Gleaner

Meredie Rowe, former Accompong Town Maroon colonel, is taking issue with the decision of Colonel Sydney Peddie to reopen discussions with prospective developers to construct a casino facility in the St Elizabeth community.

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Moore Town Maroons of Portland perform during the Accompong Maroon celebrations in St Elizabeth on Tuesday. - photo by Claudia Gardner

“I don’t think any investor would be compelled to take a casino to a place like Accompong Town where we are lacking in infrastructure,” Rowe said.

“Kingston, Montego Bay, Negril and the other towns have water, adequate light and adequate infrastructure, so I don’t think any investor will want to think about finding so much money to put up casino in Accompong Town when it can cost them a whole lot less to do it elsewhere in Jamaica,” Rowe added.

During the Accompong Maroon celebrations on Tuesday, Peddie had said the casino development was still on his agenda and he was thinking of contacting the developers, Hal Brooks and Associates, to find out whether they were interested in setting up operations in Accompong.

Gov’t influence

Peddie further said his consideration was influenced by the Government’s decision to legalise casinos.

Peddie also said he was still hoping to go to Canada to get more information on casinos.

According to him, from as far back as 2006, Hal Brooks and Associates expressed an interest in constructing a casino and a 400-room hotel on a 50-acre expanse of land in Accompong Town.

In 2006, Peddie had announced that a proposal was being made by the Florida-based investor.

However, several Maroons, including Rowe, were against the move contending that it could destroy the Maroon culture and sovereignty as well as obliterate the treaty of 1738, which gave Maroons the inherent right of ownership to Accompong Town.

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This entry was posted on January 11, 2009 by in Jamaica News and tagged , , .