(PRESS RELEASE VIA SNO) – The exhibition to mark the 70th Anniversary observance of the devastating and transformational 1948 fire that left 2000 people homeless in Castries has been extended.
The exhibition organized by the Saint Lucia National Trust in partnership with the Castries Constituency Council, the Cultural Development Foundation, the Ministry of Infrastructure, Ports and Energy, the Department of Physical Development, Media Zone and Choice TV was officially opened on June 19th at City Hall on Peynier Street.
Scores of people flocked to the exhibition which depicted images of Castries before and after the fire, as well as a brief documentary which gave accounts from witnesses and survivors of the fire. In her address at the opening ceremony, Ms. Alison King said, “If one reads the history posted in the exhibition it brings to light the warmth of the human spirit as people come together to help those who have been affected. These types of stories bring to the focus the reason we need to avoid the reoccurrence of such disasters. They remind us that if we don’t reduce these risks, we jeopardize human life, we lose property, and the quality of the life of the survivors is affected as they recover. The very socio-economic fabric of our communities is adversely affected by such disasters.”
Also addressing the gathering was the Mayor of Castries, His Worship Peterson Francis who said “As we come together to commemorate this day, today is only the beginning of our recovery, it’s not just a recovery from the Castries Fire but from the underdevelopment that continues to burn and threaten this City. It has been difficult dealing with many fires, not just from 1948. Fires currently exist such as misinformation, lack of vision, obstruction of development and growth further through littering, urinating, criminal activities, loitering and a lot more. However, our drive is to build a better City and we need you to join hands with us on this journey towards sustainable development no matter what.”
The Trust and its partners wish to thank members of the public who have already answered our call to share photographs or any pertinent information on the fire with us.
We will use any material donated to expand our collection for future exhibitions.
Those who have not yet had a chance to view the exhibition are encouraged to do so at Walcott House on the corner of Grass Street and Chaussée Road between the hours of 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. until July 3rd.