Committee set up to raise $3 million for refurbishing of St George’s Cathedral
October 18, 2016
Committee set up to raise $3 million for refurbishing of St George’s Cathedral

A fund-raising committee has been set up to raise $3 million towards refurbishing the St George’s Cathedral in Kingstown.

In an interview with SEARCHLIGHT last week, René Baptiste, the head of the St George’s Cathedral Conservation/Restoration fund-raising committee said restoration, conservation and repairs (where necessary) must be made to preserve the historic building.{{more}}

She said the new dean of the Cathedral, Dean Samuel O Nichols has indicated that he would like to be officially installed as dean and rector of the Cathedral when the church hits its 200th anniversary in 2020 and so, he has given the committee until then to complete the task.

“Over the next couple of years there would be constant fund-raising by the Anglican community to restore this historical artefact,” Baptiste added.

She said that the committee is being advised by representatives from the Atlantic Heritage Foundation, who are also preparing a draft report that she says should be ready before year end.

According to her, Anglicans and friends of Anglicans in the diaspora have also expressed interest in helping to host some fund-raisers and the committee would be travelling to California next year to make a presentation as to the extent of the repairs.

“It’s the entire cathedral that needs work,” she stressed.

Baptiste said that the clocks need to be replaced and the stained glass needs repairs and in some cases to be replaced, which she estimated would cost in excess of 87,000 pounds sterling.

The committee is also looking to restore the cathedral organ.

Additionally, Steven Kelley, who is the designated tangible heritage expert for UNESCO and has over 35 years working on conservation/restoration of over 400 important historic buildings across the world, would be working alongside Alex Reignburg as the consulting engineers and architects of the project.

Edward Barnes, an architectural history graduate from the University of Virginia, would also be working on the project.

According to the committee head, Barnes has been documenting historic structures for the past seven years in Caribbean islands and the US southeast and also has experience in reading the chronological changes to historical buildings through onsite analysis of their material, archival research and documentary planning resource material and measured survey of historic structures.

Deidre Millington-Myers of the St Vincent and the Grenadines National Trust, also an architect, will also be working with the project.

Baptiste said Kelley, Reighnburg and Millington-Myers have prepared the master conservation plan for the Cathedral and would be working alongside Kenyatta Alleyne, Joan Millington, Rudy Electrical Services Ltd and Sea Operations Ltd, who are currently handling the period of investigations.

In order to launch their fund-raising efforts, the committee will host a concert at the Russells Auditorium on November 6, followed by a dinner party and a midnight cruise in 2017.

“And we’re also looking at the possibility of bringing back the May Fair,” she added.

The committee head further disclosed that they hope to have on sale ceramic plates, mugs, cups, glass plates and a flag.

Janice Fraser, Anthony McKenzie, Spanky Mandeville, Verroll Henry, Joan Millington, Howie Prince and wardens Eleanor McMillan and Michael Cupid are also members of the committee.(AS)