EDITOR: For many of us, the land is tied to our living. At creation, humans were immersed in a garden. The garden was to feed, house, and clothe them. It was also a place for socialising. Face to face conversation had its fair place and the opportunities for recreation were many. Under a tree, in the river or on the bank, among flowers, in the meadows, the grasslands and plains, or among the forest- all provided diverse recreational choices. Night or day, the garden was a safe place to be.
It provided unlimited employment. The command was to “dress and keep the garden.” The wide variety of the fruits of the land provided a rich, nutritious harvest catering for all needs of the human body. Fruits of many varieties were in abundance. There were no roughage problems. The garden was also the origin of the first commandment, “be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth.”
Choosing between housing and lands, the better choice is the land because the land can provide employment. A house can be built from the profit of the land. Those removed from their lands and employment need to have housing with the capacity for renting to provide a source of income. A two-story house can have the owner on one floor and the other rented.
When the lands of Union Island were surveyed and distributed in 1910, small lots in the towns were apportioned for housing linked with 3, or 4-acre portions further in the agricultural regions. Residents were given the opportunity to pay for the lands from the earnings of their farming. They paid the land taxes and got their titles when they finished paying for the lands. Some of the lands have fallen into tax arrears since many family members migrated. It is rumoured that the Crown is quietly confiscating these lands. The recent resettlement for residents of the Red Zone, and Rose Place, should cater for plots large enough for the occupants to grow a garden and earn a living from it.
Anthony Stewart, Phd