San Fernando gets a museum
By LAUREL V. WILLIAMS Saturday, October 5 2013
SAN FERNANDO Mayor, Dr Navi Muradali, applauded the inputs of a deceased historian and a community activist for ensuring that the San Fernando Museum became a reality.
Delivering the feature address yesterday at the museum’s temporary location at Circular Road, San Fernando, the mayor said that historian and journalist Louis B Homer and activist Junior “Mokojumbie man” Bisnath worked and contributed tremendously to the project, apart from other persons.
A wing of the museum was dedicated in the memory of the popular local historian who passed away in August at hospital. Homer was also an advisor with the National Diversity and Social Integration Ministry, up until his death. Bisnath, 56, is the Congress of the People (COP) candidate for the electoral district of Les Efforts East/Cipero in the Local Government Elections.
Murdali explained yesterday that the San Fernando City Corporation received hundreds of artefacts and collectibles, all in an effort to cherish and preserve the rich history of the city.
“We did not spend thousands of dollars, or tens of thousands of dollars. What we did was we went out and asked people to donate items,” Muradali said. Currently the Old Railway Building, located at King’s Wharf, is being restored to permanently house the museum.
San Fernando West Member of Parliament Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan said she was hoping the museum would be relocated at the Wharf within a six-month period. She recalled that prior to having written history, information was passed on to generations orally. The MP dubbed the city as being the new cultural capital of the country noting persons who do not know history, are condemned to repeat it.
Like the mayor, Seepersad-Bachan commended Homer and Bisnath for their artefacts and collectibles at the museum.
Homer’s grand daughter Ansonia Torres, in giving remarks at the ceremony, yesterday said her grandfather formally opened San Fernando’s first museum-Louis B Homer Centre of Research and Education (CORE) on February 23, 1997. It was located at the family’s home in San Fernando.
“Homer was passionate about history, culture, country, and heritage. He was often approached by foreign and local government bodies, organisations, schools, and communities to do exhibition and publications in order to contribute to the overall development of communities in TT and throughout the world,” she said.
Curator of the National Museum and Art Gallery of TT Lorraine Johnson, brought greetings on the behalf of National Diversity and Social Integration Minister, Dr Rodger Samuel. She applauded the decision of the Corporation to refurbish the former PTSC building to house the San Fernando Museum. “This occasion allows us the opportunity to view the artifacts that would be permanently displayed at our San Fernando Museum.We have in our hands the chance to learn, and to change,” she told the gathering yesterday.