National Trust Wants to Be a Purveyor of the Nation’s History

Basseterre, St. Kitts,(SKNIS)—The work of the St. Christopher National Trust (SCNT) is to make information on the history and heritage of St. Kitts and Nevis readily available to anyone, especially students, according to Ryllis Percival, Executive Director of the SCNT. Miss Percival believes that the history of St. Kitts and Nevis is not taught properly in schools and she sees the SCNT as playing a pivotal role in properly informing the nation on its history and heritage.

“If we don’t preserve our history, our real purpose might be lost if our future generation doesn’t understand what the real struggle was in getting where we are,” Percival said on the government weekly radio show “Working For You” on April 19. “What we are challenged with right now people don’t consider that they too are to be playing a part in the protection of our history and our heritage,” she explained. She said the National Trust has to be vigilant in ensuring that the nation does not have to fight with developers to protect the history and heritage of the country.

Students can pay $20 per year to have access to the museum and documentation center. “If they don’t have the funds, we still welcome them. We won’t turn back anybody because they don’t have the monies to come into the museum or the dock center to do their research,” Percival explained.

Ms. Percival suggested that businesses on St. Kitts could also help adopt heritage sites on the island and help with the cost of maintenance. In responding to a suggestion by a caller that the sugar mill at the Southeast Peninsula be preserved as a heritage site, Ms. Percival suggested that Christophe Harbour, which is developing the Peninsula, may be the ideal company to adopt that site.

“Maybe that site over at the Southeast Peninsula, we would probably go and form partnership with Christophe Harbour and say can you maintain the site for us. Can you assist us in renovation work? They may have the engineers there, the architects, builders that can do the restoration,” she suggested. She noted that the National Trust forms a lot of partnerships with businesses and commended Christophe Harbour for assisting with archeological digging at the Peninsula. “They find our history over there and we get to share it with the visitors,” she said.

Some 254 heritage sites on the island are being tabulated into a registry by the SCNT. Ms. Percival was asked by a caller to the programme about the procedure in listing a site in the heritage registry. “(The caller) can come and make the application for this to be considered to be a heritage site. Once it makes the mark it will be listed on the heritage registry,” she said.

Meanwhile, the SCNT Executive Director addressed the issue of whether beaches on the island should be listed as a heritage sites. She stressed however the importance enforcing the provisions in law to protect the island’s heritage and environment.

“We want people to know the history behind the beach….and we don’t want people to go and erode the history of our beaches,” she said.

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