The National Library of Jamaica (NLJ) has received a significant donation of over 200 pieces of archival material from the late Jamaican actress, broadcaster, and educator Leonie Forbes.
The collection, consisting of manuscripts, trophies, awards, photographs, newspaper articles, and memorabilia, was presented during a ceremony at the NLJ’s premises in Kingston on June 14.
Leonie Forbes, who passed away on October 25, 2022, at 85, was widely respected as one of Jamaica’s most revered actresses. Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment, and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, praised Forbes for her enduring legacy and immense contribution to the arts.
In her remarks, Minister Grange acknowledged Forbes’ remarkable career spanning over five decades, during which she garnered the respect and admiration of both audiences and her peers. She highlighted Forbes’ captivating voice, emphasizing its uniqueness and the vitality it brought to every spoken word.
Minister Grange also emphasized Forbes’ unwavering commitment to Jamaica, particularly her support for the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission’s Festival of the Arts, where she generously shared her knowledge and expertise with aspiring young talents. Additionally, Forbes provided academic assistance to the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, solidifying her dedication to nurturing the next generation of artists.
The handover ceremony was attended by esteemed individuals from the theatre, media, and literary realms, including veteran broadcaster Fae Ellington and former Poet Laureate of Jamaica, Professor Emeritus Mervyn Morris. The event served as a testament to Leonie Forbes’s profound impact on Jamaica’s cultural landscape and her enduring legacy.
Her extensive collection of archival material, now safeguarded at the National Library, ensures that her contributions to the arts and her inspiring spirit will be remembered and cherished for future generations.