By:St. Clair Sazam Hull
(CHARLESTOWN NEVIS)-On Thursday, April 28, 2016 a small but significant ceremony was held on the premises of the Long Stone House Building which is located on Main Street in Charlestown.
The ceremony was held for the upcoming rehabilitation of the building, which is owned by St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla Trading Development Company Ltd (TDC).
The event began with the invocation by Pastor Davidson Morton.
Managing Director of TDC Nevis, Mr. Ernie France chaired the ceremony and gave the opening remarks. He took the opportunity to welcome those in attendance and especially those who had journeyed over from the neighboring island of St. Kitts. France indicated, that being asked to chair the ceremony was pleasurable beyond words, noting that the occasion was indeed an auspicious one. He pointed out, that the company has always aimed to satisfy its many customers as well as making sure that its staff is comfortable. In conclusion, France wished the project every success.
Chairman of TDC, Mr. Earle Kelly, also gave some brief remarks. He indicated, that the Long Stone House was constructed in 1912, and is one of the oldest buildings standing in Charlestown at present. However, Kelly stated that they were not too happy with the unsightly look of the building and a decision was made for it to be rehabilitated. The Chairman pointed out, that the expenditure for rehabilitation will cost roughly around three million ($3,000,000.00) EC dollars and the construction will be done by one of Nevis’ prominent contractors, Mr. Analdo ‘Strawny’ Chiverton.
Mr. Kelly also thanked the Nevis Island Administration for the close working relationship that they have had with TDC over the years. He indicated, that the NIA has given a number of concessions to the company and have made things more financially viable in the process. The Chairman closed by saying, that he was optimistic that the project will be one of high success.
Premier of Nevis, Hon. Vance Amory also gave some remarks. Amory told the gathering, that it was a great honor for him to have been asked to participate in such a small but meaningful ceremony. He indicated, than whenever he spoke as a representative of government, he always speaks about the private sector being the engine of growth. He said in the case of TDC, there is no contradiction that they have been one of the driving forces in the economy of St. Kitts and Nevis. The Premier noted, that we can see the influence of the company in a number of areas due to the many subsidiaries; as well as their level of employment with over six hundred (600) persons employed.
The Premier pointed out that about sixteen years ago, the Nevis Island Administration encouraged property owners in Charlestown to invest in the upgrading and expanding their businesses. However, he pointed out that they were also informed to keeping the historic facade of the architecture in order to maintain the character of charming Charlestown.
Premier Amory indicated, that it has been accomplished to a large extent because of the emphasis that was placed on maintaining the architectural integrity of the capital. In closing, Premier Amory urged everyone to continue being supportive of TDC.
The blessing of the project was given by Pastor Davidson Morton. Ms. Keesha Jones gave the vote of thanks.