The African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica/Jamaica Memory Bank, a division of the Institute of Jamaica, is saddened by the passing of Col. Sydney Peddie, OD, former Leader of the Accompong Town Maroons.
In 1999 and again in 2004 Peddie was elected to serve Colonel, the title given to the head of the Accompong Maroons. During his tenure, he focused on the socio-economic development of the community and brought on board many governmental and non-governmental organisations to help achieve his vision.
One of the major developments that Colonel Peddie undertook was the renovation of the Accompong Town Museum. This he did with assistance from the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation UNESCO, and the Institute of Jamaica, through its divisions the Museums of History & Ethnography and the African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica/Jamaica Memory Bank (ACIJ/JMB).
The ACIJ/JMB had also liaised with Colonel Peddie and the Accompong Town Council to document Maroon oral testimonies and the traditional celebrations associated with Kojo Day, normally referred to as the January 6th celebrations. In 2007, as part of activities to commemorate the Bi-centenary of the Abolition of the Trans Atlantic Trade in Africans, the division was also instrumental in the organisation of an academic Maroon conference in Accompong Town, which highlighted and analysed the history and achievements of the Maroons.
Among Peddie’s other notable achievements were the creation of a Bickle Village in 2004, in collaboration with the Tourism Product Development Company Ltd. (TPDCo), and the formation of the Accompong Development Foundation, a non-profit organisation. In recognition of his work toward community development, the Government of Jamaica awarded him the Order of Distinction (Officer Class) in 2005 for service to community development.
Colonel Peddie will be buried on Saturday August 30, 2014 in Accompong. He is survived by his wife Vida, daughter Yvonne and step daughter Dianne.