FRC joins the Dis­cus­sion on Vi­sion 2030 for Cas­tries

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

The Msgr. Pa­trick An­thony Folk Re­search Cen­tre (FRC) has joined the dis­cus­sion on the devel­op­ment of a vi­sion and plan for the city of Cas­tries.

On Mon­day 26 Novem­ber, 2018 mem­bers of the in­terim board of the FRC met with rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Na­tional In­te­grated Plan­ning Unit (NIPP) within the Min­istry of Fi­nance and con­sul­tants from the United Na­tions Of­fice for Project Ser­vices (UNOPS) to dis­cuss the pro­pos­als for the re­de­vel­op­ment of the Cas­tries basin. Dur­ing the meet­ing, rep­re­sen­ta­tives of UNOPS, which is as­sist­ing the Gov­ern­ment of Saint Lu­cia in this ex­er­cise, ex­plained that a process of con­sul­ta­tion is now un­der­way in which stake­hold­ers are be­ing in­vited to make in­put and pro­pos­als for the re­de­vel­op­ment of Cas­tries.

The FRC pre­sented de­tails of a 2013 con­cept for the devel­op­ment of Mount Pleas­ant as a Na­tional Her­itage Park where the eco­nomic, his­tor­i­cal, cul­tural and con­ser­va­tion po­ten­tials are op­ti­mally de­vel­oped, pre­sented and sus­tain­ably man­aged for Saint Lu­cians and visi­tors, within the con­text of Cas­tries as a Green City in an era of Cli­mate Change. This in­cludes the re­build­ing and re-es­tab­lish­ment of the FRC head­quar­ters at Mount Pleas­ant within the park.

As the last re­main­ing green space within the city of Cas­tries, the sev­en­teen-acre Mount Pleas­ant serves as a flood mit­i­ga­tion zone to the city of Cas­tries and is known to con­tain a wide va­ri­ety of plant and bird species. As a his­tor­i­cal site, Mount Pleas­ant fig­ured in one of the most im­por­tant bat­tles be­tween the French, un­der Ad­mi­ral D’Es­taing, and the English, un­der Ad­mi­ral Bar­ring­ton, in 1778. It was to Mount Pleas­ant that the French troops re­treated un­der a mora­to­rium to at­tend the wounded and the dy­ing, many of whom were buried near the base of Mount Pleas­ant Ridge. The FRC con­cept pro­vides for the es­tab­lish­ment of a Folk Mu­seum, his­toric and cul­tural trails and an ethno-botan­i­cal gar­den where re­search into the plant life of Saint Lu­cia is un­der­taken and the na­tion’s germplasm is pre­served and op­ti­mally ex­ploited.

Fol­low­ing the dis­cus­sions be­tween the rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the FRC and the NIPP, it was agreed that the FRC will sub­mit de­tails of the con­cept to the team en­gaged in the prepa­ra­tion of the Vi­sion 2030 doc­u­ment for Cas­tries. The FRC will also share in­for­ma­tion on the con­cept with the pub­lic, non-gov­ern­ment and gov­ern­ment agen­cies in­clud­ing the Devel­op­ment Con­trol Au­thor­ity.

With the sup­port of the Gov­ern­ment of Saint Lu­cia, the FRC es­tab­lished its per­ma­nent home at Mount Pleas­ant in 1993 fol­low­ing the ac­qui­si­tion of one acre of the es­tate lands. The Cen­tre served as the main repos­i­tory for in­for­ma­tion on the cul­tural her­itage of Saint Lu­cia and be­came a much sought-af­ter venue for cul­tural events.

On 25 March, 2018 an early morn­ing fire com­pletely gut­ted the build­ing, re­sult­ing in the loss of an ex­ten­sive col­lec­tion of print and au­dio-vis­ual ar­chives.

The FRC now oc­cu­pies tem­po­rary of­fices at the Cul­tural Devel­op­ment Foun­da­tion, but will be re­lo­cated to the for­mer Mon­roe Col­lege, Barnard Hill, from De­cem­ber 1.

Mem­bers of the FRC In­terim Board meet­ing with UNOPS (United Na­tions Of­fice for Project Ser­vices).

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