By Loshaun Dixon
Basseterre, St. Kitts-A new exhibit dubbed “Inside Government House” has opened inside the National Museum to highlight memorabilia from past Governors and the history of the Government House.
In a ceremony to open the Exhibit on Monday Toni Fredrick -Armstrong of the St. Kitts National Trust gave some background into what the exhibit would entail.
“Our Governor General has been a part of the National trust for some time and he did the most beautiful pamphlet on Government House. In a conversation with him he was saying he has particular memorabilia and gifts that has been presented to the Governor General…and between the two of us we thought we have a mandate to share with the public,” she said.
She added that part of the mandate of the National Trust is education and having the public to understand how they function and the history of governance in St. Kitts and Nevis.
“We have wonderful records at the national archives. We actually have list of Governors and Administrators going right back to the 17th century,” she said, adding that they figured that there was enough information to mount a display on Government house and its occupants.
Speaking at the ceremony, Governor General of St. Kitts and Nevis Sir Tapley Seaton stated he was honoured to be invited to a patron of the national trust and that he of the view that the exhibit was quite timely and it give an idea of what he sought to do when in 2015 he did the leaflet about the history of Government House.
“It was intended to show and document especially in the schools the history of Government House and some of its occupants. I am privilege to be in this position at this present time and wanted to share with my fellow citizens,” he said.
The Head of State stated that the many people may have heard about the Governor General but may not be aware of the functions of the office.
“I think they may hear about a governor general but they may not have seen a live Governor General. I have taken the opportunity to go to the primary schools and to speak with the students about the role of the Governor General,” he declared.
“Some of the things you will see on exhibition are gifts that are presented to the Governor General and I want to announce that I am instituting a register because I want to ensure that there is an inventory beyond this office holder so persons can know that these objects presented to the Governor General were presented for the benefit of the state. So there will be a national register of gifts that are presented.”
He explained that very often ambassadors present gifts to the Governor General and it is normally something valuable.
“Certainly we would want to have them for the public to be able to see and inspect and recognized,” he said.
He said Government House has a significant place in the history of St. Kitts and Nevis.
“The fact that it has evolved from an Anglican Church rectory in a state house I think is important.
Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis Timothy Harris commended the Governor General of the initiative he described as historical.
“This is a man well steep in our history. Not just our contemporary history but from me he is somewhat of a history professor. That ability that he has to locate this and people in the context of our long march for development I want other to emulate.”,” he said.
He added that it is important for the public to understand the past and to understand through the experience of the people who lived it.
“We must as a people create our own history and create a better one than which we inherited. If we could adopt as part of our mantra that every day of our lives to create a new history that is good and refreshing and helpful to the generation after us,” he added.
Dr. Harris said the efforts of the present generation is what will determine whether or not those now consequate the future.
The exhibit that will now form part of the National Museum and will feature varying aspects of those who have held the office of Governor General in the past.