Preserving our cultural and built heritage

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Preserving our cultural and built heritage

The stage has been set for advancing the Walcott Heritage Project which is expected to add to Saint Lucia’s rich cultural milieu.

Members of the Walcott Heritage Project Committee held its inaugural meeting at Government House on Thursday, September 27, 2012. The meeting, chaired by the Governor General, Her Excellency, Dame Pearlette Louisy, was used to set the stage for advancing this project of national significance.

The meeting was convened by the Saint Lucia National Trust (SLNT) since the childhood family home of Derek and Roderick Walcott was vested in the Trust by Government in 2005. The SLNT was requested by Government to develop the property into a museum in honour of the Walcott brothers.

Since that time, the Trust requested its Architectural Heritage Committee to pursue this initiative on its behalf. A proposal was developed and submitted to Government, but over the years since the vesting of the property, financing has not been provided to move the project forward. The Council of the Trust considered this matter and decided to include the further definition of this project in its 2012/13 work programme.

According to SLNT’s Director, Bishnu Tulsie, “Apart from Government’s original intention to create a museum in honour of the Walcott brothers, subsequent discussions emphasized the opportunities for embracing and promoting the wider contributions of the Walcott family to educational, literary and artistic landscape of the region and the world”.

Additionally, meetings with several groups and individuals, including Dame Pearlette Louisy and the Honourable Derek Walcott recommended the creation of an appropriately constituted Committee, to be appointed by the Trust and chaired by Her Excellency to be responsible for scoping, defining and developing the proposed Walcott Heritage Project.

The members of the committee include a Representative of the Office of the Prime Minister, Mark Hennecart, John Robert Lee, a representative of the Walcott family, Katherine Atkinson, Goodwin Richardson, a representative from the Ministry of Physical Development, an SLNT Council member, the SLNT Conservation Manager and the SLNT Director.

Some of the matters dealt with at the Committee’s inaugural meeting included the review and approval of the Committee’s Terms of Reference; procedural matters and management of the Committee’s work; general discussion on the concept, goal and desired impact of the Walcott Heritage Project and discussion on a deliverable for Nobel Laureate Week 2013 among other matters.

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