In July 2018, the Caribbean Heritage Network (CHN) was very saddened to hear of the loss of one of the region's most committed heritage champions, Dr. Janice Lindsay, who served as the CHN's Interim Vice Chair.
Dr. Lindsay, who at the time of her passing was the Principal Director of Culture and Creative Industries in the Policy Division of the Jamaica Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports, died at the University Hospital of the West Indies on July 6, after a brief illness.
She made an indelible mark on the cultural heritage landscape of Jamaica, having been the driving force behind the island’s world-famous Blue and John Crow Mountains being designated as an United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage property.
The Cultural Heritage Development Specialist was one of two representatives from Jamaica to serve on UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee. The Committee is responsible for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention, management of the World Heritage Fund and allocates financial assistance to States Parties when requested. The Committee makes final decisions on properties to be inscribed on the World Heritage List and she was instrumental in Jamaica’s nomination to the Committee in November 2013, for the first time.
The UNESCO World Heritage Centre offered this tribute on learning of her passing: “Dr Lindsay was known for her kindness and dedication as a professional. The staff of the World Heritage Centre, with whom Dr Lindsay had established relations of close cooperation and friendship, extends its heartfelt condolences to her friends and family.”
Dr Lindsay focused on the economic development of tangible and intangible heritage assets. The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport reflected following her passing that Dr Lindsay’s expertise had played a large part in the Ministry’s accomplishments in the portfolio area of culture, nationally and internationally.
“To say that she will be sadly missed is an understatement. Her loss will be greatly felt by all of us in the Ministry.”
Minister Grange described Dr Lindsay, who had also acted as Permanent Secretary between May and November 2017, as the consummate professional.
She was also formerly Director of Arts and Culture at the University of Technology, Jamaica before being seconded to the Ministry and the university’s tribute also echoed many of the sentiments expressed: “Dr. Lindsay is remembered for her kindness, dedication and professionalism. She displayed the highest level of professionalism in her work and treatment towards her colleagues. She was a calm, but firm individual who was passionate and committed to whatever she did.”
Dr Lindsay completed a Ph.D. in World Cultural Heritage Studies at the University of Tsukuba in Japan (2007-2011), and held a Master of Arts degree (2005) in Heritage Studies and a Bachelor of Arts in Media and Communication (1996) from the University of the West Indies, Mona.
She authored several articles published in heritage and sustainable development journals and delivered presentations on aspects of cultural heritage at local and international conferences. Awards given to Dr Lindsay include the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology, Government of Japan Scholarship (2007) and the University of Tsukuba Certificate of Merit Award for Doctoral Research (2010).
Her interests included research and development in local (cultural and indigenous) communities and exploring the potential of participatory and broad-based heritage tourism initiatives.
Dr. Lindsay’s specialties extended to: Heritage tourism, local communities and heritage, heritage research and development, urban and rural heritage, older persons in heritage, youth in heritage, world heritage and media, public- private- community partnerships and heritage, mother languages in heritage tourism.
The CHN continues to extend sincerest condolences to her family, friends, colleagues, and all who had the pleasure of interacting with her on a professional basis.