Rastafarian faithful have hailed the posthumous national honour to be bestowed on the religion’s founder, Leonard Percival Howell, as an atonement of sorts and a tectonic shift from the bitter days that characterised the movement’s infancy and its early relationship with the State decades ago.
Howell, who died 41 years ago, will this October be inducted into the Order of Distinction in the rank of Officer for pioneering the development of the Rastafari philosophy.
Although born into an Anglican family on June 16, 1898, Howell broke ties and established the first Rastafarian community with about 4,500 members and created the Pinnacle commune in the cool hills of Sligoville, St Catherine, overlooking the buzzing towns of Spanish Town and Kingston with a breath-taking view that brings peace to one’s soul.
Pinnacle grew into becoming a self-reliant community with farmers who created a sustainable culture. There were also skilled craftsmen and women who shared a faith under the motto ‘One God, One Aim, One Destiny’.
The destruction of Pinnacle, started by the colonial authorities in 1954, and the dispersal of its members, caused the Rastafarian doctrine to spread into more communities such as Waterloo and Tredegar Park in St Catherine and communities in west Kingston.
SOURCE: Jamaica Gleaner