By David Jordan, Joint Chairman SAHS/HTC
CASTRIES, St Lucia – The Anglican School Annex “Top School” has received a facelift as the selected venue to host the Caribbean Ties Exhibition, August 1-31, 2021.
Perched on the hill at Holy Trinity Church road in Castries, the Anglican School Annex original matured white pine wooden structure was always the traditional Ever-Green exterior and a unique Ivory on the interior. Hardly anyone even within the Anglican community can be engaged in a conversation as to who were the original architects and builders of the structure supposedly built since the year 1916, next to the Holy Trinity Anglican Church (1830); and its usage by the Friendly Societies was a meeting place for the church groups and in particular, home for several competitive national table tennis players of the 70’/80s.
After several years of neglect of the Annex, the joint committee organizing the Caribbean Ties Exhibition – Leiden University of the Netherlands, Saint Lucia Archaeological and Historical Society and the Parish of Holy Trinity Parish (SAHS/HTC) each has seen an opportunity to resuscitate life in the “Top School” through this exhibition.
The resuscitation will warrant further work says Cecil Charles joint representative of the SAHS and HTC. Recommendations have already been made for an “ Essay Competition to be launched as to what follows for the Anglican School Annex” and “to Establish an Alumni Association”.
Archdeacon Christian Glasgow – Rector of the Parish of Holy Trinity has been very supportive of the project and renders his commendation to its vision.
The building has seen generations of Alumni
Then Annex, we have learned housed several national prominent Saint Lucia personalities as alumni of that school … inclusive of Sir Arthur Lewis and family members and several prominent citizens over the generations. As well as the first native Governor – Sir Frederick Clarke and the first Governor-General Sir Allen Montgomery Lewis, other passed and/or living persons as pupils of that primary school.
Caribbean Ties unique exhibition
Caribbean Ties exhibition features in part of the work related to “Project NEXUS 1492: Caribbean encounters in a Globalizing World of Leiden University, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and Konstanz University in collaboration with the Saint Lucia Archaeological and Historical Society, and presents part of the scientific results generated by the research project.
Caribbean Ties is a unique exhibition that presents the diversity and complexity that existed in the Caribbean before the arrival of Europeans, and what is still present today. The exhibition provides an opportunity to support the heritage and share in the cultural awareness with school children, local communities and visitors.
The private sector and NGOs
The efforts at Caribbean Ties and the Annex – “Top School” -has not gone unnoticed by the private sector. We especially thank Charmaine Gardiner, who regularly assists the Anglican Church when called upon, was again elated to assist via Carasco & Son; and Sissons Paints to identify the correct hue and identical colour of the original rustic looking building; the management of 1st National Bank even oblivious to the historical connections of the Osbourne family and the Anglican Church and the original St Lucia Cooperative Bank; as well as Peter & Company to assist with the Caribbean Ties Exhibition.
William Peter, a now-deceased merchant and an Anglican, is famous for having the William Peter Boulevard named after him.
William Peter replaced the original Bells (1982) at the Parish of Holy Trinity. As his legacy lives on, his remains lay reposed at the Anglican cemetery.
Saint Lucia Distillers Group of Companies has also come on board. Several other partnering agencies such as the Saint Lucian Government, St Lucia National Archives, ICAR, The Indian Heritage, the National Reparation Committee, Monsignor Patrick Anthony Folk Research Centre, the Saint Lucia National Trust, Indian Heritage and The UWI Open Campus have all been working together during the last few months in spite of the challenges posed by COVID-19.
The ministry of tourism and its agencies Cultural Development Foundation (CDF) Events St Lucia, and volunteers St Lucia, have already announced and envisioned scope for the inclusion of the Holy Trinity Anglican Church (1830) its Cemetery (1830), the Anglican school Annex “Top School” (1916) in the embrace and portrayal as “heritage touristic tours in the city” – being one of the recognizable oldest buildings in Castries (if not Saint Lucia). We are particularly thankful to the office of the Cabinet Secretary.
A month-long exhibition
The Caribbean Ties Exhibition will be launched with an opening ceremony Sunday, August 1st at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church Sunday at 04:00 pm with the blessing of the Exhibition at the Annex. The exhibition is scheduled to be open for viewing for the entire month ending August 31.
The exhibition is free to all patrons, is geared to stimulate the consciousness of school children, including summer school students, the wider public and visitors who are interested in the historical affairs of Saint Lucia.
The Caribbean Ties Exhibition is scheduled each day at the Anglican School Annex “Top School” from 08:00 am to 05:00 pm, will also feature a varied cultural package, artisans at work to enliven the exhibition.