NATIONAL TRUST FORGES AHEAD
Only standing room remained as approximately one hundred and sixty (160) members and 11 staff members gathered for the Saint Lucia National Trust’s (SLNT) 38th Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Saturday November 22, 2014 at the Bougainvillea Conference Room, Bay Gardens Hotel in Rodney Bay. The attendance was a vast improvement over the last AGM which recorded only 63 members and 16 staff. Governor General of Saint Lucia and Patron of the SLNT, Her Excellency Dame Pearlette Louisy said, “I’m particularly pleased with the turn out for the meeting this year after lamenting about the level of attendance last year”.
Her Excellency indicated that her challenge to the Trust this year is the maintenance of the Historical Sites, specifically those vested to us, including the rehabilitation of the Military Cemetery on the Morne Fortune. She went on to thank the Secretariat for increasing the number of events for members to participate in.
Subsequently, outgoing Chairperson, Dr. Vasantha Chase recognized from the onset of her report the commitment and dedication of the outgoing Council to the advancement of the Trust. She also acknowledged the efforts of the Saint Lucia Archaeological and Historical Society to improve its representation on Council. Dr. Chase reported that a number of proposals written by staff have attracted significant funding to carry out various projects such as the Caribbean Fish Sanctuary Partnership Initiative (C-Fish) which aims to strengthen community-based marine protected areas in the Point Sables Environmental Protection Area (PSEPA) and the Eastern Caribbean Marine Management Area Network (ECMMAN) Project which also focuses on key elements of the PSEPA Management Plan. Mention was also made of the Walcott Place Project which the Trust has undertaken as per Government’s directive. This project seeks to transform the childhood home of Derek and Roderick Walcott into a museum and a national cultural landmark.
The elections of Councilors, which was one of the most anticipated items on the agenda, resulted in two new Councilors joining the fold, namely Mr. Egbert Stevens and Mr. James Shingleton Smith. Dr. Vasantha Chase, Mr. Calixte George Junior, Mrs. Lisa Louis Philip, Ms. Simone Mondesir and Mr. Lyndale James were reelected to continue their work on Council. The Trust’s 2014/15 Council will be fully constituted after the Archaeological and Historical Society name their representatives. Government’s representatives on Council are Mr. Crispin d’Auvergne and Mr. Dunley Auguste.