Taxi operators from Nevis would meet designated passengers at Port Zante in ST.Kitts, drive them over the Peninsular Road and onto the Sea Bridge and bring them to Nevis. They would visit the Alexander Hamilton International Airport, the Hamilton family compound and the adjacent Alexander Hamilton Museum, and to Hamilton estate, where the family lineage possible originated. The current Developers of the estate, Carino, plan to restore part of the historic sugar plantation installations. Nevisian taxi operators would also take the visitors too other places of interest in Nevis including restaurants and other food and beverage locations before returning them to their ship in St.Kitts via the Sea Bridge. Tour passengers who are afforded a brief, pleasurable Nevisian experience may be motivated to return to the island for a longer period, thus enhancing the Nevisian tourist product financially.
Similarly, Nevisian entrepreneurs could organize Hamilton Tours for visitors who stay in hotels in St.Kitts and Nevis. One day air charter flights could also be arranged from the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico where countless numbers of Americans visit annually. The Hamilton name is most likely to be familiar to the majority of them because his name is irrevocably embedded in the history books of their educational institutions. How many of them are aware that a one hour journey from the tourist base would enable them to visit the birthplace of one of their country’s pre-eminent founders?
South Africans and visitors to the country journey to Robben Island to visit the jail where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for nearly three decades in the 20th century, to pay homage to him. New Yorkers and visitors to that city journey to Ellis Island in the New York harbour to pay homage to the millions of ancestors who first touched American soil at the immigration centre on that island from 1892 to 1954 when it was closed. Senegalese and visitors journey to Goree Island in the vicinity of Daker to pay homage to the millions of enslaved Africans ancestors who were brutally hauled through the “door of no return” by slave traders and herded onto putrid ships bound for the West Indies and the Americas from the 15th to the 19th Centuries. The aura of authentic history is a magnet that draws individuals to places where they can walk on the same ground where their revered ones walked, and permits them to personally experience their physical and spiritual surroundings.
The Hamilton brand could also attract organizations in the United States that hold annual Hamilton conferences, seminars, etc. to convene in Nevis. One locale for such programs could be the proposed performing arts and conference centre in Nevis funded by a large grant from the Government of Taiwan and obtained through the aegis of the former CCM administration. When that government- owned and revenue-producing facility is constructed and opened during this decade and hosts Hamilton-related and other programs Nevisian caterers would provide food and beverage and related services, thus empowering them financially.
Alexander Hamilton was the financial wizard who created the Bank of New York in 1784 in the Wall Street financial district of that city. Each year Trinity Church/Wall Street observes the anniversary of his birth on January 11, 1755. Hamilton and his wife Elizabeth are buried in the adjacent churchyard cemetery so every year there is also a memorial service to commemorate his death on July 11, 1804. Ambassador Isben Williams, the St. Kitts-Nevis Ambassador to the United States attended one of those ceremonies an 2007. Since 2004, the Friends of Alexander Hamilton & Descendants Committee in Patterson as the first planned industrial city in the United States in 1791-1792. That Committee recently informed me via email that in 2006-2007 the Patterson Board of Education launched a program titled “Alexander Hamilton Scholars”. The role of these scholars (50) is to develop curriculum study materials with an emphasis on Hamilton’s impact on Patterson History and New Jersey history.
The history of Alexander Hamilton is also part of the history of Nevis. There is now a sea bridge in Nevis. Is it not time to construct a bridge that spans the Hamilton legacy with the land of his birth, Nevis? Might that bridge be the Alexander Hamilton International Airport? Renaming scenarios are catapulting out of my pulsating Nevisian calabash. One scenario is that sometime in the not-too-distant future that the government of St.Kitts-Nevis should invite the President of the United States to participate, not officiate, in the renaming ceremony, which would be the unsurpassed “branding” of Nevis universally.
A Nevisian calabash filled with juices of fruits and vegetables grown in Nevis would be collectively held by the hands of former Premier Vance Amory, Dr Simeon Daniel and Premier Joseph Parry. Their three pairs of hands would pour the juices on the ground symbolizing the cleansing and healing of the political wounds of Nevis, the re-naming of the airport, and as a libation to the memory of those enslaved Africans whose indomitably-spirited presence n Nevis contribution immeasurably to the life and character of Alexander Hamilton. Nevisian.