DID YOU KNOW?

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DID YOU KNOW?

Did you know the surrender of Martinique in July 1943 rendered the Cap Estate military camp obsolete and it was deactivated along with the naval air station in Reduit?

In 1945 public access through the base was re-opened after the by-pass road began to collapse. The Reduit base was formally closed on June 1, 1947, and turned over to the Government of St. Lucia on July 1, 1948. As a result of the Chaguaramas Agreement, all leased territories in the British West Indies were handed back before their 99-year leases were up, and Reduit was returned to the British government in a simple ceremony on March 11, 1959.

Source: A History of St. Lucia by Harmsen, Ellis & Devaux – 2012

Did you know throughout the 1860’s, 70’s and early 80’s, sugar prices were reasonable and St. Lucia’s political climate was stable? Peasants and labourers managed to feed, clothe and house their families, send their children to school once in a while, and even donate a few pennies to the church, flower festivals and friendly societies.

This changed abruptly in 1884, when almost overnight, a sharp drop in the price for the muscovado sugar sent planters reeling in debt. The crisis was quick and unexpected in its advent, with permanent disastrous effects. Sugar estates island-wide went into bankruptcy.

In 1883, the export value of sugar, rum and molasses was £190,360 but by 1886 this was slashed to £64,000. However, in 1893 it recovered slightly to £95,000 but in 1896, there was a drop to £63.000. Of the 81 sugar estates that were operational in 1843, only 13 remained active in 1897.

Within a decade of the crisis when some major sugar estates were abandoned, almost completely abandoned or partially abandoned their owners were forced to find greener pastures.

Source: A History of St. Lucia by Harmsen, Ellis & Devaux – 2012

This feature runs every Tuesday and Thursday. It is written by daughter of the soil Anselma Aimable, a former agricultural officer and former correspondent for Caribbean Net News, who has a deep interest in local culture and history. Send ideas and tips to [email protected]

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3 COMMENTS

  1. You see those Europeans got rich off our ancestors backs. They need to teach those facts to white kids as well because their parents full their heads with rubbish about blacks.

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  2. Your'e doing a wonderful job miss aimable please keep it up for I'm really looking foreward to it.

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