Letters to the Editor
THE EDITOR: Tuesday’s Newsday article on the promotion of Tobago’s history has raised the consciousness of many Tobagonians to their historical heritage. The chairman of the Tobago Heritage Conservation Society, Gabriele DeGaetano, had the vision to recognise and expose the need for conserving and promoting the cultural ecotourism for the benefit of the island. He has exposed a sleeping giant.
Tobagonians have become aware of the importance of their history that they had taken for granted and now appreciate that theirs is a rich heritage worthy of sharing with the world. In order to realise this potential, however, these sites must be made accessible. Again, Tobagonians can call on their rich heritage.
In colonial times, a network of roads (warden or secondary roads) was developed throughout the island and can be reopened and used as trails, without damaging the environment (as will be the case with new roads), and by and large these roads will be in close proximity to many of these sites and will also offer historical insights to the areas and invoke further research.
An example is Rousseau Trace which runs from the Castara Old Road through the old Mt Dillon Estate, to Mt St George and beyond.
In fact, both Rousseau Trace and the Mt Dillon Estate have their own historical value. Count Arthur Richard Dillon, after whom the estate is named, was the governor of Tobago under the French, from 1784 for three years. He was condemned as a ringleader in the alleged Luxembourg prison plot and guillotined on April 14, 1794, with 20 others.
This is an opportunity for Tobagonians to identify with their position on the world’s historical stage and that they are in the best position to showcase their history and bring it to life for all people.
Many job opportunities will be created from this venture and Tobagonians will be better able to identify with names such as Forbes, Robley, Irvine, to name a few.
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