With the official launch of Heritage Month this morning Minister of Culture, Stephen Lashley, has appealed to Barbadians to see history as much more than a record of the past.
And he further encouraged them to view it as something they experience daily as they marked the importance of the month under the theme: Celebrating Our Heritage, Connecting With Our Future.
“We must now view heritage as something that is more than lifeless. View it as something that is not only reflective of our past; indeed we live at a current time when our heritage is real. We create history everyday of our lives and therefore we must continue to feel a part of it.
“Everyday we are writing our names on history’s page, we are living a culture that we will pass on to future generations. I wish to encourage you to take the time to learn as much as you can about our platinum City and its Garrison,” he told an audience at The West Wing of the Parliament in the City.
On June 25 Barbados celebrates the second anniversary of the World Heritage inscription of Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison as a UNESCO world heritage site. Lashley said that while his ministry was challenged to educate the public about the importance of such a designation, and it has thus far done a credible job in that effort. However, he said he believed there was still much more to be done to educate Barbadians about their heritage and its potential benefits, as well as how to avoid the multitude of risks that could have a negative impact on the world heritage properties.
He cited littering, illegal restructuring of historic buildings, inadequate maintenance, lighting and signage as some of the major problems which must be addressed. The minister added: “All Barbadians should feel a sense of pride, they should feel also that they have a very critical role to play in the preservation of Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison. They should develop a sense of ownership and a desire to work with my ministry and the World Heritage Committee in this regard.
“After all, the significance of our property reflects on the contributions made through the years by Barbadians of all ethnic groups and all walks of life. Our rich and diverse heritage should indeed be shared with the rest of the world and in sharing there are many possibilities.”
Many activities are planned for Heritage Month, including: A presentation of the Breitling Clock, the George Lamming Distinguished Lecture to be delivered by Dr. Lennox Honychurch, who will speak on In The Castle Of My Skin: Architectural Heritage & The Caribbean Psyche.
There will also be a presentation titled, Garrison Guns and Galas featuring professor Pedro Welch, a sidewalk exhibition and art market, a movie night in Independence Square and an unveiling of a plaque at the Garrison to commemorate the second anniversary of the inscription. There will be three marble plaques, the base of the first at Garrison was designed by architect John Allsopp. (KC)