Last update: 10-Dec-2013 1:42 am
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Heritage in crisis mode
The news that the CDA had asked the Military Museum in Chaguaramas to close their doors, hit me like a ton of bricks. With stabilisation works at Mille Fleurs well under way, Stollmeyer’s Castle 99 per cent complete and President’s House reconstruction about to commence I, like many others, had begun to feel that at last the decision-makers in this country were understanding the tremendous significance of our heritage sites and the importance of preserving them.
We talk about eradicating crime, we talk about creating a better society, we talk about uplifting communities but we fail to realise that the basis of all of these things lies in developing a strong sense of self love, caring for each other and our most important of all our country.
The Military Museum is a reminder of the important role this country played in World War II. Although that war took place 69 years ago, the victory of the Allied Forces is a significant event in world history because it brought fascism to its knees and meant the continuation of democracy and the existence of the free world as we know it today.
One would think the stories of our brave countrymen who participated in that war would be the type of story we would want our young people to hear and experience at the museum. Those stories of men fighting for a cause greater than themselves is ultimately a much better story than the senseless fighting over a drug turf to which many have been reduced.
With the Maritime Museum around the corner and plans for a Heritage Warehouse under way, it would seem readily apparent that the Military Museum should be part of that landscape. If the North West peninsula is to become a designated recreational space let it also be an educational space. The two concepts should be happily married. What better way for a family to enjoy a day out than visiting an educational space first and then having some fun.
To compound this news was to lay sight on the National Trust’s advertisement in last week’s newspaper for a CEO. The criteria set out was basic and left out the requirement for a finance and management background that a CEO of such a vital organisation would need. Sadly, until we see our decision makers making better choices despite our limited gains, this country’s heritage remains in a state of crisis.
Michele D Celestine, LLB
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