It was the intention of the Foundation that in order to mark the occasion of our 41st Independence Anniversary, that a tWRF delegation should pay a courtesy call on newly appointed Minister of Tourism, Hon.Yolande Bain-Horsford, and to take the opportunity to register our intention to assist her ministry, if requested-in the preservation and enhancement of her recently visited heritage sites in Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique, in an effort to diversify the TOURISM PRODUCT and to move it to a much higher level than it is at present.
This intention was realised on Friday, Feb. 13, 2015 when a delegation of four met with her at her Botanical Garden office.
The delegation explained to the Minister the objectives of the Foundation and its achievements over the past twenty (20) years in fulfilling its mandate, which is “the Preservation and Renewal of the National Heritage of Grenada”; in this regard a small brochure listing the projects completed from 1994-2014 was presented.
Salient matters which were further discussed was the Restoration of York House, which – going on eleven years after Hurricane Ivan, remains untouched and unattended, the complete listing of Grenada’s Heritage buildings, sites and monuments for official recognition and eventual enactment of legislation for their protection and preservation, the Amerindian midden (site) at Pearl’s, St. Andrew’s where invaluable artifacts are excavated and removed out of Grenada.
Opportunity was taken also to bring to the Minister’s attention the urgent repairs required for the Public Library building on the Carenage with the loss of irreplaceable documents, books and archival material which would be lost forever.
Mention was also made of the enormous potential of Fort George as a major tourism site with substantial economic returns, which continue to remain undeveloped in the heart of historic St. George; in this regard the Minister informed us of a current initiative involving the World Bank which could materialise in the near future.
The continuing efforts by the Foundation to dialogue with the owners, in order to have their Slave Pen and Great House at Mt. Rich, St. Patrick’s restored were also discussed, with the intention of reviving discussions in the near future in an effort to showcase our history and to expand the tourism experience, which would also include the St. Mark’s Duquesne Petroglyphs and other Carib artistic expressions, which remain discarded and unimportant, as opposed to other Caribbean islands with less significant sites which are presented to the visitor as major tourism venues.
In conclusion there was consensus that a collaborative approach would be in the best interest of the country and that the recently formed Grenada National Cultural Heritage Committee of the Ministry of Culture and Heritage, the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Works, together with Heritage and Cultural NGO’s working together could make a significant improvement to the existing status quo, and truly assist by portraying our country as PURE GRENADA.
(The above reflects the views of the Willie Redhead Foundation)