Fort Duvernette  officially reopens
May 27, 2011
Fort Duvernette officially reopens

Vincentians and visitors to St. Vincent and the Grenadines can now enjoy another site rich in history and culture, as Fort Duvernette was officially opened to the public after undergoing rehabilitation work.{{more}}

Fort Duvernette was opened on Thursday, May 19, just off the coast of Young Island.

The rehabilitation work done on the site includes the construction of some 255 steps that lead to the top of the fort; repair of the cannons; the building of a landing platform; a bridge and gazebos and benches for recreational purposes. The project, funded completely by the Government of Finland, cost approximately EC $100,000.

The Fort, a 60 metre Basalt Volcanic Plug, has on its lower level two batteries, one facing South and the other West. The fort also has several cannons, and on the West battery, one mortar, a water cistern, crawl hole and power room. The top battery also has four cannons, a mortar and the ruins of the officer’s quarters.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Minister of Tourism Saboto Caesar expressed his appreciation to the Government of Finland as well as the SVG National Trust for their contribution to preserving the history of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Caesar also stated that the Fort will play an important role in tourism, especially the development of Heritage Tourism, and encouraged persons to visit and enjoy the site.

Also giving remarks, Chairperson of the National Trust Louise Mitchell-Joseph expressed gratitude to the Government of Finland for their collaboration in rebuilding the site, stating that they have made a significant contribution to the rehabilitation process.

Mitchell-Joseph stated that the site, rich in history and culture, can be used to educate students on Vincentian culture. She stated that the Fort, which was built by the British during the height of the Carib war, was also used as a port of defence against pirates who sought to attack the mainland.

Mitchell- Joseph also noted that the Fort is rich in biodiversity as the White Tail Tropic bird currently nests at the Fort and is a rare species.

Mitchell- Joseph also appealed to persons to take care of the site and to respect the wildlife that exists there. She explained that no amplified music will be allowed on the site so as not to disturb the animals. Also, she stated that no fishing will be allowed, as the Fort is located within the South Coast Marine Conservation area.

Mitchell-Joseph also hinted that jobs will be created in the process as tour guides will be needed to guide persons in their exploration of the site.

Ambassador of Finland Mikko Pyhala stated that he was pleased to work with the people of St. Vincent and the National Trust. Pyhala added that the project is a “truly exemplary project” and that he intends to send information to the Finnish press, as well as tell Finnish tourists about the fort, adding that tourists will enjoy the rich birdlife at the site.

The opening ceremony also included a blessing of the site and the cutting of the ribbon to officially open the site.

Persons will be charged a fee of $5 to visit the fort.

Interested persons can contact the National Trust for more information.