Valerie Facey strolling on the beach, Jamaica
Mrs. Valerie Facey, patron of the arts and wife of the late Hon. Maurice Facey, O.J is the driving force behind the Mill Press, the well-known Facey family publishing house in Kingston, Jamaica. Valerie Facey was born in England but has made Jamaica her home since the 1950s. It is her love of good books and her passionate interest in Jamaica’s heritage and natural resources that inspired the development of this remarkable publishing house.
THE MILL PRESS is a prestigious publishing house in Jamaica incorporated in 1990 whose aim is to showcase Jamaica’s rich historical heritage with reproductions of rare old books and manuscripts as well as quality productions of new and varied titles. Jenny Mein is in conversation with Valerie Facey.
- What has been your most favourite journey?
From the age of 5 years old, I had the privilege of spending 7 extraordinary summers at the traditional farm of my Nanny/Governess (Minnie) at her humble home in Minnesota, USA.
- Which of your projects do you consider to have been your most passionate?
My discovery and subsequent publication of “Belisario – Sketches of Character”. A historical biography of a Jamaican artist.
- Which living or dead historical figure would you invite to your dinner party?
Isaac Mendes Belisario – 1794-1849.....OF COURSE!
- And what would you serve?
Smoked marlin for starters; followed by Roast Leg of Lamb, with: lamb gravy, roasted potatoes, lightly steamed broccoli, haricot vert, baby carrots, roasted, fried breadfruit chips; sauce for the lamb would be guava jelly w/fresh garden mint. Dessert: sweet potato pudding (pone) with rum sauce.
- What projects are you working on now?
A History of the Facey famil.
Ongoing research on Constant Spring Estate, Kingston, Jamaica (since 1664.
- What is your home like? How do you decorate it?
Jamaican/Georgian architecture with parquet flooring; filled with multiple shelves of books, paintings and sculptures.
- What are the favourite plants/trees in your Jamaican garden?
The Mammee (‘Marmey’) Apple Tree…nutmeg tree, citrus trees, ornamentals; begonias and other tropical trees, plants and blooms.
- What is your most loved possession?
My grandmother’s ‘Jensen’ upright piano w/cabriole legs
- What is your hobby?
Reading and opera
- What is the best advice you have been given?
To stay in Jamaica
- What items do you covet/would you buy from Jenny Mein Designs? Jenny Mein specialises in fine bone china tableware and textiles inspired by memories of the fruit and flowers growing in her beautiful childhood family garden in Jamaica? The bone china, especially the Breadfruit series.