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St. Lucia News Online welcomes our readers to this new feature which will run 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 some ideas and tips to [email protected]
Did you know that St. Lucia’s Government House is situated on a terrace in the foreground of the western end of Morne Fortuné?
It is about one mile from Castries at an altitude of 457 feet/133.20 metres. The building was completed in 1895 but before its construction the residence of the officer administering the government in St. Lucia was positioned on the western extremity of Morne Fortuné some 300 feet /91.440 meters higher up.
After taking over the island about 1814, the British called the officer’s residence the Pavillion. About 1768, the early French governors were thought to have resided on the site of the Pavillion.
It is recorded that no less than four governors died at the Pavillion. However, the horrible hurricane of 1817 blew down the Pavillion and buried the governor and others in the ruins.
Here are some more facts about Government House, gleaned from Wikipedia:
Government House is the official residence of the governor-general of Saint Lucia. The house is located on the crest of Morne Fortune, near Castries.
The first Government House that was built on this site was destroyed by a hurricane in 1817, before its completion. A second house, built of timber, was completed on the same spot in 1819. This house fell into disrepair, and was abandoned by 1865. Government House then relocated to a nearby disused military barracks.
Construction of the present brick-built Government House was started on the site of the previous house in 1894, and was completed a year later. It was originally used as the home and office of the Commissioners of Saint Lucia until 1958, then for the administrators of the island. From 1967, Government House was used by the governors of Saint Lucia, and since Saint Lucia became an independent state in 1979 it has been used by governors-general.
See you next Thursday!