The Board of Trustees, Management, and Staff of the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT) are deeply saddened by the passing of Mr. Hugh Nash on July 24, 2021.
Mr. Nash was the second Executive Director having served from May 1, 1987 to April 30, 1992. He also served on the Board of Trustees from 2008 to 2011 and 2016 to 2019. During his tenure as Executive Director, the main focus of the JNHT was uncovering new information through archaeological research at the Seville Heritage Park in St. Ann, which was conceived by Mr. Nash as the genesis where it all began for the Jamaican people. He believed that it was at Seville, that the many cultures collided and produced the foundations of the Jamaican people that we now know.
The ethos of the JNHT was to carry out the research, preservation, promotion, and public education of the beloved heritage of our people. Mr. Nash was fascinated with the archaeological investigation, and how it could unearth concrete evidence from the various periods in Jamaica’s history.
As the first site for the Jamaican people, the research work conducted at Seville was intensified to discover our Taino, Spanish, African and English ancestry. With collaborative agreements between the JNHT and other research institutions both nationally and internationally, numerous research proposals were implemented by Mr. Nash, to strengthen the knowledge base of the JNHT and by extension Jamaica. Some of the proposals included:
- The search for the African Village – done in conjunction with the Syracuse University and aimed at finding the village which had 275 enslaved Africans from the archival research.
- Columbus Caravel Research – done in conjunction with the Texas A & M University to conduct archaeological research to find the two ships that came into the St. Ann’s Bay Harbour in 1503 with Christopher Columbus that were leaking and weathered.
- Spanish Research – Church of St. Peter Martyr – to continue archaeological excavations on the location of the first Spanish City in Jamaica, Sevilla Nueva and the location of the first church in Jamaica, and third in the western hemisphere.
- Port Royal Excavation – done in conjunction with the Texas A & M University to explore the underwater city.
Mr. Nash’s view was also to create a Park at Seville, that was able to display concretely the heritage of the site, and to show how Jamaica became ‘Out of Many One People.’ Ultimately to raise the awareness of the significance of our heritage.
He was soft-spoken yet very clear on what he wanted to achieve for Jamaica and our Heritage. He had a passion for community involvement in the preservation of our national landmarks and monuments.
Mr. Nash’s contribution to the JNHT has been a positive one and his works added to the foundation on which the current Board of Trustees, Directors and Staff continue to build in an effort to research, preserve, promote and protect Jamaica’s rich cultural material heritage.
The Jamaica National Heritage Trust thanks Mr. Nash for his sterling contribution throughout the years.