by Mortimo Planno
Mortimer Planner or Mortimo Planno as he has come to be known was born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1920. In 1939 he came to believe that Haile Selassie I is the Living God. After adopting the Rastafari lifestyle, Planno moved to Trench Town and became one of the founding members of Kingston's first Rastafarian camp in the Dungle. From that time to the present, Planno has been one of the more characteristic adherents of Rastafari. Being intensely studious, an exceptional and eloquent orator, and harboring an abiding concern for the welfare of all Rastafari he is known and respected among many Rastafari brethren worldwide.
In 1961, Planno was selected to be a member of the Jamaican delegation that traveled throughout Africa (Mission to Africa) to explore the possibilities of repatriation. On April 21, 1966, now known as Grounation Day (a Rastafari holy day), Planno was able becalm a wildly enthusiastic and zealous mass of 100,000 Rastafari and other believers eagerly waiting to catch a glimpse of Haile Selassie I on his historic visit to Jamaica. This feat allowed the Emperor to make a more placid but still hurried de-planing to a waiting limousine. During Selassie's three day stay in Jamaica, Planno was among the selected Rastafari Elders who met with His Imperial Majesty (H.I.M.).
This latter fact and Planno's broad knowledge of and adherence to Rastafari beliefs and practices led Bob Marley, one or two years after H.I.M.'s visit, to seek Planno out and "reason" with him in Trench Town. Planno passed on his knowledge of Rastafarian principles, rites and customs to Marley who eventually became an outspoken and internationally celebrated musician and dedicated adherent of the religion. Today, Planno, as a respected Rastafari elder, resides in Porus, Jamaica and is currently a Folk Fellow (1997-1999) at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica.In 1969, Professor Lambros Comitas asked Mortimo Planno to write a text on Rastafari teachings. One year later, when Comitas returned to Jamaica, Planno gave a handwritten manuscript to him with Comitas' promise that it would made into a monograph. In 1995, Comitas had the manuscript typeset and printed and then bound a single volume in leather with gold stamping. He hand-delivered the monograph to an ailing Mortimo Planno in Jamaica.
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