St. George’s University (SGU) has donated matching funds of US$100,000.00 to go towards the restoration of the Governor General’s residence.
The house on Upper Lucas Street was severely damaged during the passage of Hurricane Ivan in 2004.
The Government of Grenada has been approaching donors to fund the refurbishment.
Chancellor and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of SGU, Charles Modica announced last Wednesday that the donation of US$100,000 came from his own mother.
“…Today I am announcing that my mother … has very generously…agreed to donate matching funds to other donors of up to 100,000 dollars US towards the restoration of the Government House”, he said.
“The restoration of the Government House will take a lot more than that but I have a significant amount of 100,000 US dollars that will match other donations to accelerate in the process we believe”, he added.
Governor-General, Dame Cecile La Grenada and Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell were present at the brief announcement ceremony.
The Prime Minister praised the University for its donation towards what he called an important part of Grenada’s heritage.
“I think Charles and the University have … consistently supported national projects in this country and by the investment they have made in many of the scholarships they have given and all the other initiatives that they have made in respect to the country, they clearly have demonstrated (the) value of St. George’s University (to the) country”, he said.
Prime Minister Mitchell lauded the initiative of SGU to make a contribution to a project that is of tremendous significance to this country.
“…I have said to myself – two things that I would not want to see undone when I get out of political office is the Governor General’s House not being built and the Parliament of the country.
“We have the parliament very much on the road, now the Governor General House is certainly the next one and I will be doing everything possible…so that (the donation) starts the process in getting the drawings and everything and at the same time government will have to make serious commitments and of course we have private sector people…so their (SGU) initiative to me is an excellent one.
During the ceremony, it was also disclosed that the university has also agreed to fund a statue to be built after the island’s first Prime Minister, the late Sir Eric Matthew Gairy and to name one of its newest Dormitories after him.
SGU was created by an act of Parliament passed during the 1972-1976 rule of Gairy’s Grenada United Labour Party (GULP) government.
After the ceremony, Prime Minister Mitchell spoke to reporters and gave the university the thumbs up for their decision to recognise Sir Eric.
Dr. Mitchell conceded that even in the grave, Gairy’s vision is being realised.
He said: “The announcement of funding the statue of Sir Eric Gairy and the fact that they (SGU) will name one of new buildings in his name, I think this is highly significant because had it not been for Gairy’s vision and boldness in the time when everybody else thought he was crazy and all sorts of accusations were thrown on him for bringing in dead bodies here and creating diseases and so on…his vision is playing out while he is not alive.
“…A lot of kids are enjoying the benefits of that vision and therefore, I want to compliment the University for what they in my view should do for a man who was responsible for their being here and the success that the university is enjoying regionally and internationally,” he added.
The onslaught against Gairy and SGU was led by the now defunct Marxist-oriented New Jewel Movement (NJM) of Maurice Bishop, Bernard Coard and Unison Whiteman.
Dr. Mitchell and Whiteman had joined the Grenada National Party (GNP) of Herbert Blaize to contest the 1972 elections against GULP.
The current Prime Minister lost his bid to unseat Finance Minister George Hosten in St. George North-west.