NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (February 13, 2013) –Minister of Culture on Nevis Hon. Mark Brantley called on Nevisians and Kittitians to join in the noble task in the protection and preservation of their heritage.
He was at the time delivering remarks at the start of the Nevis Historical and Conservation Society’s History and Heritage Month from February 12th, to March 1st. 2013, on the grounds of the Alexander Hamilton Museum in Charlestown, under the theme “Protecting and Preserving our Endangered Values.” The Minister gave the assurance that the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) would work diligently with all stake holders to protect the island’s heritage.
“The new Nevis Island Administration pledges to work assiduously with all stake holders to ensure that our values are never endangered and that we will fight valiantly to protect and preserve what is good and great in all of us…
“There is value in our values and I invite Nevisians and Kittitians to join in this noble endeavour to protect and preserve our very way of life,” he said.
Mr. Brantley explained, what he believed, values meant to the people of St. Kitts and Nevis.
“To me, our values define us as a people. They constitute the ethos of who we are as Nevisians and Kittitians, our level of self respect and respect for others, our tolerance for divergent views and opinions even when they violently conflict with our own views and opinions, our political and democratic traditions, our way of communicating, our way of settling disputes, our manner of interaction with our fellow citizens, residents and friends, our appreciation for our history and our environment and our spirituality. These to me are all small components of our value system,” he said.
According to the Culture Minister, his people had come from a peculiar history of slavery, through colonialism and the glorious dawn of independence and along the path had developed social mores, habits and customs, all of which defined their value system which added value to their values.
Mr. Brantley stated that there was also value in the protection of the island’s historical sites which were bountiful and valuable as they served as an umbilical cord which connected life in the present to the past in the same way one sought to connect with the future through children and generations yet unborn.
The Culture Minister issued a word of caution.
“The history of St. Kitts and Nevis is valuable and demands protection. As a new Administration, we are sending our clear message that our historical sites must be preserved and not plundered. Too many are stripping ancient buildings of their stone work or seeking to pilfer ancient cannons and coppers and artefacts of all kinds. This must stop.
“Too many are engaging in illegal sand mining and destroying our beaches and critical coastal areas. This must stop. Our people must understand there is value in protecting and preserving our values, put differently, our values are a way of life, our ethos as a people is valuable and must be protected and preserved,” he said.
Mr. Brantley wished the NHCS and its counterpart in St. Kitts, the Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park Society every success in the month-long activity and noted that the citizenry of St. Kitts and Nevis owed both organisations a debt of gratitude for their hard work in the protection and preservation of the Federation’s history and heritage.