Photo 1: An outline of the areas to be included in the National Heroes Park.
Photo 2: A billboard at the site of the National Heroes Park.
Heroes park to ‘educate about the past, while building bridges to the future’
Basseterre, St. Kitts – The National Heroes Park currently being constructed along the Kim Collins Highway, northeast to the R. L. Bradshaw International Airport in St. Kitts, promises to be a venue where residents and visitors can learn more about the historic figures of the federation and enjoy an environment that promotes family and community bonding.
A government press release noted that Project Manager Calvin Pemberton said the approximate 4-acre facility has a centrifugal design and will feature an entry booth that leads directly to a welcome center that will feature information about the lives and accomplishments of the five national heroes. Upon exiting the welcome center, visitors looking directly ahead will be greeted by the sight of the parade square; just behind that is the monument display area that will feature busts of the Late Right Excellencies Sir Robert L. Bradshaw, Sir Caleb Azariah Paul Southwell, Sir Joseph N. France and Sir Simeon Daniel.
A statue of the only living national hero, the Right Excellent and the Right Honourable Dr. Sir Kennedy A. Simmonds will also be prominently featured.
Other features of the park include green areas, kiosks, sunken and raised platforms, an amphitheater, a pavilion and parking areas. Benches will be featured around the facility to allow visitors an opportunity to sit and reflect on the contributions of the icons, to engage with others or to play with their children (where appropriate). The park will be ringed by a wooden picket fence, while the gates will depict a design of sugar cane stalks that harkens back to the importance of sugar production, the main economic driver of St. Kitts for centuries up until 2005, when the sugar industry was closed.
Pemberton emphasized the national value of the facility and gave a commitment that it will be finished in time for the 2017 Independence celebrations in September.
Senator Akilah Byron-Nisbett commended the government for the investment in preserving the history of the twin-island federation. She shared that it provided an excellent ambience, can serve to inspire members of the current and future generation as they learn about the extraordinary personalities, and would foster family bonding.
“For families even to be able to have a place where you can bring your children, while they are playing they are learning the history of our country. … I am certainly looking forward to even bringing my own children here to teach them about the history of our people and to be able to have a place where we can come and we sit down, maybe have picnics,” she said.
The senator encouraged others to consider ways that they too can take advantage of the new facility when it is completed.
The Republic of China (Taiwan) contributed EC$2 million for the construction of the National Heroes Park.