January 23, 2009
A green and tranquil space in Kingstown

For the past few weeks the St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) National Trust has been receiving criticism about the fencing of the Carnegie Building’s grounds.{{more}}

The criticisms came from the print and electronic media, and many persons verbally expressed their displeasure, claiming that the fence looks prisonlike.

Managing Director of the Trust Rachel Moses told SEARCHLIGHT that the fencing of the property is timely and is in an effort to protect the property, as there have been wanton acts of vandalism throughout the years. Moses said that the fencing is incomplete and that it would fit into the surroundings when it is finished and would surely add value to the property.

Recently, the ground floor where the Trust has its headquarters was repainted and the windows were refurbished with a grant from the United States Embassy.

The erecting of the classical eight foot fence, which is funded by St Vincent Trust Services, as well as a special grant from the government, is only part of the Trust’s ambitious plan to create a green and tranquil space in Kingstown, according to Moses. She said that they have engaged Hadley Blooms to create a new landscape for the grounds, which would include trees, flowers and benches for families, workers, students and children to enjoy.

The Carnegie property was donated by Scottish philanthropist Andrew Carnegie to be used as a Library; it was completed in 1909. Carnegie educated himself through libraries and made his fortune in America. He lived from 1835 to 1919.

Louise Mitchell-Joseph, who is the Vice-Chair of the National Trust, said that their aim is to transform this open space, which presently is an unsanitary place, into a well kept urban garden that is fitting of the mission of the Trust to preserve for the future. Mitchell-Joseph also said that the project is part of a greater plan to restore the building itself and that they are seeking additional private sector funding for the completion of the project. “We hope to mark this 100th anniversary with pride and splendor,” she said.

The 100th anniversary celebrations will include schools’ poster and essay competitions and the issue of commemorative stamps. The theme of the celebrations will be ‘The Spirit of Philantrophy’.