By:St. Clair ‘Sazam’ Hull
(CHARLESTOWN NEVIS)- On the evening of Friday, July 14. 2017, the newly renovated Cultural Village was opened. A grand opening ceremony marked the event.
Chairperson of the ceremony, Mr. Antonio ‘Abonaty’ Liburd, gave the opening remarks. He told the gathering that he was proud of all those who were involved to make the renovations a reality.
He stated that when the process began, they were working with a time frame to get it completed and the completion was done within that time frame. Liburd indicated that the upgrade cost the government a lot of money and citizens should seek to protect it. Liburd is also the Chairman for Culturama 43.
Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Mr. John Hanley, gave a brief overview of the project. Hanley noted that twenty-two years ago in 1995, Mr. Halstead ‘Sooty’ Byron came up with the idea about the Cultural Village. He noted that after many years of usage, the village had deteriorated and it was time for some renovation. Hanley indicated, that various skilled men were contacted and as a result of their time and efforts, there is now a brand new Cultural Village.
Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for Culture, Hon. Mark Brantley also gave some remarks. Brantley stated that it warmed his heart to see the upgraded facility. He also indicated, that the NIA was quite pleased with the end product.
Brantley noted, that the late Carl Williams approached the NIA with the idea about upgrading the Cultural Village and even though he is no longer here, it is necessary to remember his contribution. Brantley also praised the architect Ms. Camille Kelly, Project Manager, Mr. Allister Thompson and all the builders who did the construction.
The Deputy Premier pointed out, that citizens should take care of the village because it is our money that was spent for the renovation. He said that the cost of renovation was $1.7 million EC dollars.
The Culturama Committee also recognized three individuals who have been operating in the Cultural Village for a number of years. Mr. Oldain ‘Sandy’ Claxton and Mr. Kem Simmonds have been in operation since the inception in 1995 and Mr. Samuel Richards started operating in 1996. All three operators were presented with plaques for their longstanding services.
The plaques were distributed by Hon. Mark Brantley. During the presentation, Brantley said that if you never had a chicken from Sandy, it means you are not Nevisian as he was certain every Nevisian already had at least one.
After the presentation, Hon. Brantley declared the new facility officially opened.