(PRESS RELEASE VIA SNO) – On June 19, 1948, seventy years ago, 75% of the town of Castries was destroyed by fire and left two thousand (2,000) persons homeless.
Fortuitously, there was no loss of life, however, it was catastrophic enough that it tested the survival and the daily livelihood of residents.
According to Saint Lucia National Trust’s (SLNT) Programme Officer for Built Heritage, Ms. Germaine Joseph, “The fire sent a ripple effect throughout the Caribbean and Europe. In a House of Commons sitting, Mr. Rees Williams commented that the loss was provisionally estimated at a little under £2,000,000 and that a contribution from His Majesty’s Government is under consideration. It is information of this nature that we would like to highlight during the 70th Anniversary Observance of the 1948 Castries fire.”
To this end, the SLNT is partnering with the Castries City Constituency Council, the Cultural Development Foundation, the Department of Infrastructure, Ports and Energy, Media Zone and Choice TV to stage the two day exhibition.
The public is encouraged to view the exhibition which will be held at City Hall, Peynier Street, Castries on Tuesday, June 19th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Wednesday, June 20th from 9:00 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Eyewitnesses and survivors will be on hand to relay their accounts at the event and rare footage and audio visual installations of town of Castries between 1941- 1966 will be shown.
The Trust calls on the public to share any information on the fire which changed the urban landscape of Castries. Information can be sent to [email protected] or call 452-5005.
We look forward to the public’s participation in observing this historic event!