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Carriacou Museum in dire need of restoration

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by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada

  • Termite infestation forced closure of Carriacou Museum
  • No government subvention; museum relies on public donations, grants, and fees
  • Pest extermination of premises will cost EC$4,500

For the past 43 years, the Carriacou Museum has served the public, however, recent sighting of termite infestation threatens its entire operation in a historical building on Paterson Street.

From 1989, the museum has occupied an old cotton ginnery considered to be the second oldest in the world when it ceased operating in 1979. Operated by the Carriacou Historical Society Inc., the museum was acclaimed by UNESCO as “the best little museum in the Caribbean.”

When termite infestation forced the temporary closure of the museum in July, all historical materials were relocated, including an extensive collection of Amerindian and African artefacts, together with documents, furniture, glassware, and pottery from colonial times.

Carriacou Museum

The infestation is more extensive than anticipated. President and Chairman of the Carriacou Historical Society Inc, Stephen Alexander, indicated that complete pest extermination of the roof and both floors, and trenching on the outside of the building will cost EC$4,500. “The termite problem was discovered in July of this year and as a result, the museum had to be closed to visitors until it can be restored to full operation. This will take some time due to the lack of funds, so we are in the process of soliciting help from all possible sources.”

This cost does not include the removal and disposal of infested materials, materials for replacing and displaying artefacts, the rewiring of the museum for improved lighting and air conditioning on both floors.

Because the museum is among the few privately funded museums in the Caribbean, the Carriacou Historical Society depends on public donations, grants, and fees from its international membership to support day-to-day operations.

Interior of the Carriacou Museum showing extensive termite damage

Alexander said the museum at one point received a government subvention, however that has since stopped. “The museum has been in existence since 1976. It is currently funded mainly by membership dues and the admission fees paid by visitors. Except for 3 years (2009–2011) when the government, during those years, gave subventions to the museum. Since then, there has been no government support,” he said.

While short-term measures are being reviewed to address the situation, the committee is finalising a permanent solution to completely restore and upgrade the museum into a modern facility. The architectural design concept is presently being reviewed but will require significant financial resources. “At the moment we have an estimate of US$46,000 to do a complete renovation of the building, which includes electrical upgrade and restoring the display area and making it more attractive to visitors,” he said.

Alexander said the closure of the museum is having a direct impact on the committee’s financial situation since the main source of revenue generated by the museum is through visitor admission fees.

Persons interested in assisting the committee to protect and preserve the rich heritage of Carriacou and Petite Martinique, can do so by donating directly to the Carriacou Historical Society Inc., Paterson Street, Hillsborough, Carriacou, Grenada; or through the Grenada Cooperative Bank, Carriacou, Grenada, account #521003625; or via Western Union to the Carriacou Historical Society at the aforementioned address.

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Caribbean & World

Co-op Bank and Grenada Nurses Association commence new relationship

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On 5 December 2019, Grenada Co-operative Bank Limited and the Grenada Nurses Association Inc. (GNA Inc.) forged a new business relationship.

At a ceremony held at the bank’s head office on Thursday, 5 December 2019, the two organisations signed a Memorandum of Understanding that offers preferred terms and conditions to members of the GNA Inc. and their spouses when seeking credit facilities from Co-op Bank.

Signing on behalf of Co-op Bank was the bank’s Chief Operating Officer, Deon Moses, while President of the GNA Inc., Nurse Patricia Strachan, executed on behalf of the nurses.

Nurse Strachan stated that this agreement is first of its kind for the association and described the occasion as a “great moment”, especially as there are limited opportunities existing for nurses. She believes this will enable members to become more empowered to advance and invest in their development once this opportunity is tapped into.

Moses reaffirmed Co-op Bank’s commitment to help build our local economy and people, and sees this relationship as another way it is manifested. He also pointed to the bank’s mission statement which highlights the bank’s commitment to contributing to the wellbeing of citizens where it operates.

Both organisations hope this relationship will be long-lasting and be mutually beneficial.

Co-op Bank

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Cuban nurses to temporarily fill vacancies

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by Linda Straker

  • 30 to 40 nurses from Cuba will be contracted to help fill vacancies within healthcare systems
  • 50 persons will undergo nursing assistants training through National Training Agency

In early 2020 Grenada will be contracting between 30 to 40 nurses from Cuba as a temporary measure to help fill vacancies within the healthcare systems as part of a short-term measure adopted by health administrators aimed at reducing the impact of nurses who are leaving the system and taking up jobs in places like the United Kingdom.

Health Minister Nikolas Steele said government is finalising arrangements for the nurses following the visit of a delegation to Grenada a few weeks ago. “This is a stop-gap measure,” he said, admitting that over the years nurses with experience are leaving the system. “Unfortunately, we are losing our nurses to first world countries,” he said. He did not share the number of nurses who have left the system in most recent times.

Besides Cuba, Steele said that Grenada is also looking to import nurses from Ghana and India. The final agreement will include housing for the nursing professionals.

While the government will be importing the qualified registered nurses and those of high-level qualification, Steele said that 50 persons are desirous of becoming nursing assistants while undergoing a one-year training through one of the certified national training centres of the National Training Agency (NTA).

“We are still on schedule for a January start of our nursing assistants programme. We are in final negotiations with La Boucan and the national training authority of Grenada as well as our Ministry of Youth and Education to finalise the training of 50 nursing assistants, in two batches of 25,” the minister said.

The curriculum is expected to meet the criteria of the Nursing Council, the National Training Agency and the Ministry of Health. The training will involve both theory and practical.

La Boucan Creative Centre is owned and operated by former Health Minister Ann Peters, and her husband Francis Urias Peters. As a recognised national training centre, its programme will be accredited by the National Accreditation Board.

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China proving EC$34.8 million in aid to Grenada

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by Linda Straker

  • EC$38.4 million in aid will fund Cricket Stadium renovation and other projects
  • Over 1,800 Grenadians have attended training courses in China
  • Chinese government has implemented several China-Aid framework projects

China is to provide EC$38.4 million in aid to the Government Grenada which will see the funding used for the Cricket Stadium renovation and other projects.

On 9 December, Dr Zhao Yongchen, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to Grenada and Hon. Peter David, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Labour of Grenada signed the Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation between the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of Grenada.

According to the agreement, the Chinese government will provide a grant fund of 100 million Chinese RMB yuan (EC$38.4 million) to the Grenadian government to implement the Cricket Stadium Renovation Project and other projects.

Ambassador Zhao Yongchen said that under China-Aid framework, the Chinese government has implemented many projects for Grenada such as Low-Income Housing Project, Rebuilding of Grenada National Cricket Stadium and Athletic Stadium, and Technical Cooperation on Agriculture.

A statement from the Chinese Embassy in Grenada said that since 2005 more than 200 Grenadian students have studied in China sponsored by the Chinese government and over 1,800 Grenadians have attended seminars or short-term training courses in China.

The Chinese hospital ship Peace Ark visited Grenada twice, providing free medical service to the Grenadian people. The Chinese government also donated police vehicles and medical equipment to the Grenadian government.

“All these projects are funded by the Chinese government grant assistance. He hopes the signing of the agreement will further enhance the bilateral cooperation under the Belt and Road initiative and promote the social and economic development of Grenada,” the statement said.

Minister David, on behalf of the Grenadian government, expressed his sincere appreciation to the Chinese government and people for the generous assistance. He acknowledged the support from the Chinese government to Grenada in infrastructure, education, sports and many other areas and said that Grenada is willing to deepen the cooperation with China under the Belt and Road initiative.

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