30 September 2013The Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park Society (BHFNPS) wishes to extend a sincere and heartfelt THANK YOU! to all those individuals and organizations who made our initial clean up of the historic Charles Fort (Hansen Home) such a successful exercise. At approximately 6:30 am on Saturday 28th September an army of enthusiastic volunteers converged on this important site, not to bombard or to besiege it as in centuries gone by, but to take a proactive first step in addressing the neglect and abuse of the site which has set in since it was abandoned just a few years ago.
The results of this initial clean up are encouraging. The path approaching the entrance to the fort and a large section of the land outside of the wall next to this path has been cleared of vegetation and garbage. Inside of the fort itself, vegetation has been cleared for several feet from the entrance. Participants in this clean up included a detachment of the St. Kitts Cadet Corps representing schools such as Washington Archibald High School and Saddlers Secondary School; the St. Kitts Nevis Defence Force; Mr. Malcolm Govia, former Senior Attendant at the Hansen Home; Mr. Ralph Wilkin, native of Fig Tree and Sandy Point and local historian; several individuals who live close to Charles Fort; Her Majesty’s Prison, which provided two chainsaws along with inmates trained in their use and Mr. Lionel Stevens, President of the Sandy Point Agricultural Co-operative Society (SPACS).
The BHFNPS wishes to thank the following for making this initial clean up possible:
Captain Kayode Sutton of the St. Kitts Nevis Defence Force, who coordinated the involvement of the Cadet Corps and the Army (their involvement is quite fitting as Charles Fort is one of the most important chapters in our country’s rich military built heritage).
The enthusiastic cadets and soldiers of the Cadet Corps and Defence Force respectively who participated.
TDC Group of Companies for donating gloves for the participants to use.
Rituals for donating jumbo garbage bags.
Admiral Enterprises (2008) Ltd. for donating a dumpster for hauling garbage.
Her Majesty’s Prison, for providing two chainsaws and four inmates to operate the chainsaws.
Island Bakeries for donating refreshments for the participants.
Island Purified Water for donating bottled water for the participants.
Mr. Ralph Wilkin, who made a cooler of very refreshing lemonade.
SPACS for donating some refreshing and tasty local fruit juice.
The Parks and Beaches Unit of the Ministry of Health, who conducted an initial clean up on Friday 27th, clearing the track approaching the front entrance.
While this clean up of Charles Fort was the last event in the BHFNPS’s calendar of events for the 30th Anniversary of Independence, it is only the first of many more such regular exercises to come. Stay tuned and the Brimstone Hill Society seeks the support of all Kittitians as we work to restore and protect one of the most significant historic structures in the Americas. Please see some photos below of last Saturday’s clean up.
Cameron St. P. Gill, MA
Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park Society/UNESCO Focal Point, Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis