Fort Charlotte Hits 200 Mark
March 17, 2006

Fort Charlotte Hits 200 Mark

By Kenara Woods

To commemorate the 200th Anniversary of Fort Charlotte, the Ministry of Culture and the Heritage Month Committee held a grand ceremony last Saturday 11 March at the fort on Berkshire Hill in Edinboro. {{more}}

Historian and Resident Tutor of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Dr. Adrian Fraser journeyed back in time sharing his knowledge on the history of the fort. He recalled that the fort was not only used to defend the country but also as a refuge for non-combatants. He mentioned that every town in St. Vincent and the Grenadines had a fort simply because of the presence of the Caribs.

He said just before the 1820’s the fort underwent extensive repairs to the walls to prevent enemies from scaling the rocks.

Dr. Fraser went on to say that the fort was not without its fair share of problems, and one of the main problems experienced was the inadequate supply of water. Particularly, in 1799 and 1800 there were approximately three to four months without water and attempts were made to bring the water from Green Hill by pipe. It was discovered that a spring was present at the fort and efforts were made to develop it.

This country’s Minister of Culture, Rene Baptiste was present at the ceremony and said that it is very important for Vincentians to know about their history. “I find it strange that we know more about British history than Vincentian history,” said Minister Baptiste. She advised not only Dr. Fraser but also the history teachers who have formed an association that the Ministry of Culture will be willing to publish their works on the history and heritage of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. She made it abundantly clear to all present that Fort Charlotte represents our built Heritage and that we must uphold that fact. “This is the time to learn, this is the time to teach, that’s why our focus is on heritage,” the culture minister said.

The celebration included a number of performances including the displaying of eighteenth century attire by the Hairoun Theatre Company, and choral speaking and the singing of folk songs by the Kingstown Anglican School. The Minister also unveiled a plaque in commemoration of the 200th Anniversary of the fort.

During this month, being celebrated as National Heroes and Heritage Month, the Ministry of Culture intends to focus on things relating to St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ heritage, Fort Charlotte being one of these.