Heritage awareness education

As members of the (tWRF) the Willie Redhead Foundation, Mr Tim Byam, our President, our former President Mr Norris Mitchell, the distinguished Gloria Payne-Banfield, our young and vibrant IT specialist Carlana, Cecil Edwards, our Tax Collector and others too numerous to mention and myself, it is our responsibility to educate and sensitise the people of this tri-island state of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique, on matters concerning heritage awareness education.

Many have asked the question – what is our heritage and what is heritage? Our heritage is our culture, customs, music, foods and our monument. Heritage simply refers to something inherited from the past.

I admire the folks on the sister isle of Carriacou because they have kept their culture alive, the foods and customs that were handed down to them by their ancestors, the big drum dancing, the Maroon festival, Quadrille dances, laying of tomb stones and the wedding cake dance are just a few of the traditions that were deeply rooted in the people of Carriacou.

I am very proud to see how they have kept those traditions alive up to this present day – kudos to the committees and people involved for a job well done.

As we journey back to the mainland Grenada, our main concern presently is preserving our architectural heritage especially the city of St George which is rich in diverse history – our vision for this beautiful city is to have it made into a UNESCO heritage site.

The city of St George has lots of monuments and artifacts, forts and fortresses that make it an envy of all Caribbean islands.

I would like to see better laws in place, tougher legislation protecting our artifacts and monuments because those are the little things that add value to our city.

Thousands of visitors and vacation seekers come to our shores every day and yet we allow them to come and go without letting them know the true historical value of the city of St George.

We often boast of tourism and how Grenada is a tourist destination, so now is the perfect opportunity to form an alliance with (tWRF) the Willie Redhead Foundation and lobby for the city of St George to be made a UNESCO heritage site.

We are calling on the government, Madam Minister of Tourism and NGO’s to please stand with us for we need your support for we all can make this happen.

On behalf of the tWRF we would like to extend our gratitude to you Madam Minister of Tourism, Hon. Yoland Bain-Horsford for taking time from your busy schedule for meeting with us members on Friday 13/2/15.

Thank you for all your kind words of encouragement. We are looking forward for the fruits it will bring forth. Thank you.

Grenada is in need of much needed revenue – this can be a perfect way of doing so it’s time we think outside of the box and put measures in place and appoint proper trainers of tour guides.

Seminars can be held to educate the aspiring tour guide trainees and I’m sure our organisation is willing to offer assistance in doing so in anyway we can.

The past President, Mr. Norris Mitchell and myself were engaged in a conversation at our last annual general meeting on how many of us go abroad in places like Washington and New Orleans and other historic districts and how fees are charged to be taken on tours and they do so without complaints but they ignored what they have here in this beautiful country of ours.

What is it are we offering visitors when they come to our shores?

Remember it is not about sun, sea and sand anymore – a new generation are interested in our heritage and what is unique to Grenada, they all want memories and memorabilia to take home. There is a reason why they made Grenada their destination.

Preservation of the city of St George is needed, we cannot allow persons to demolish our buildings which are part of our history.

I firmly believe much is needed to be done to showcase what we can offer visitors to our shores for we need to start making preparation now. That is why it is vital to have the city of St George made a UNESCO heritage site.

We need well trained tour guides who are versed in the history of the city of St George. I want to see visitors taken on tours in large groups around the city – it’s time we boost our national pride and give the city the recognition that it deserves.

Land marks or markers should be placed on all historical buildings in the city so it can be made easier for all visitors as well as locals to recognize the signs or symbols in various places around the city.

They should also be placed on visitor’s maps for easy identification.

tWRF is all about preservation of our architectural heritage – our drive is through awareness and education. York house has now become a “GBN I saw “.

It is a shame to see how they have treated that prestigious institution where law was once made and bills passed for decades. This was one of the most respected institutions in the land.

tWRF would like to see York house cleaned up and restored – it’s really sad to see how they treat our national assets, our history (and) that is why we are trying hard to make the city of St George a UNESCO national heritage site because these buildings will be maintained and protected from all the vandals that have no respect for our heritage.

Brian Joseph

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