Nelson Island, the place which once served as the detention centre of some of the most famous citizens of our country, is about to be refurbished as part of a comprehensive restoration project by the National Trust of Trinidad and Tobago. The project will be officially launched on Friday, August 17th at a special ceremony on the island, by Senator the Honourable Minister of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs, Joan Yuille Williams. Once the restoration is completed, the island promises to become a vibrant and thriving source of eco-friendly and historical tourism, not just for foreign visitors but for the people of this nation as well.
The history of this heritage site is a checkered and fascinating one…
The name of the island comes from Neilson, a British citizen who was regarded as its proprietor. Its first buildings were built in 1802, by enslaved Africans and in 1866 it was established as a point of disembarkation for indentured Indians. During the 2nd World War, all persons with Austrian or German passports, largely Jews, were interned on the island. Also interned during the 2nd World War was Tubal Uriah Buzz Butler. More recently, in 1970, it was the place on which several political detainees were held. Amongst them were George Weekes, former head of the OWTU, Makandal Daaga, head of the NJAC, Kafra Kambon, head of the Emancipation Support Committee and Efebo Wilkinson, poet and former Permanent Secretary.
In the coming weeks, members of the public will be provided with information about the progress of the restoration, as work continues apace to restore this beautiful aspect of our national patrimony.
"Using the Power of the Word" is the theme of the presentation being delivered by Eintou Pearl Springer today, May 29th, as part of the Scarborough Library Showcase 2007. Ms. Springer will use excerpts from her writings to encourage secondary school students from Tobago to experience the joys of reading, writing and the literary works of Caribbean and International writers.
Hundreds of people turned out to two days of celebration of International Museum Day on May 17th and 18th at the National Museum in Port of Spain.
An intense program of activities over the two days began with a formal launch at the National Museum. The keynote address by Babacar M’Bow was extremely well received by those in attendance, including Senator the Honorable Joan Yuille Williams, Minister of Community Development and Gender Affairs, Khafra Kambon, Chairman of the Emancipation Support Committee, Professor Carol Boyce Davies, Leroy Clarke, Chief Abiodun, Vel Lewis, Curator of the National Museum, Finbar Ryan, Director of Culture and Eintou Pearl Springer, Poet Laureate of Port of Spain.
As part of the International Museum Day Celebration Ms. Springer facilitated a workshop for Secondary School children on the topic of the Bicentennial of the Abolition of the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade.
The two day event ended with a spectacular display of the diverse heritage of Trinidad and Tobago.
Click here for photos and clippings from the event.