Old government house museum to re-open
The Old Government House Museum is ready to re-open to the public following three years of renovations. This was announced in a Government Information Services release.
His Excellency Governor Augustus Jaspert in a ceremony last week said he was thrilled to see the completion of renovations to the first floor of the historic Governor’s residence building.
Governor Jaspert said, “I know a huge amount of hard work and perseverance has gone into this re-opening and I am very grateful to all the individuals who have made this possible.”
The Governor went on to extend particular thanks to the Old Government House Museum board members, which he said “generated incredible community support and voluntary funding to restore the Museum at no cost to the Government of the Virgin Islands.”
Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration Honourable Vincent Wheatley represented Premier Honourable Andrew Fahie at the ceremony and added his thanks to the National Parks Trust for their work on the gardens surrounding the building; and to the voluntary organisations, students and individuals who worked to raise funds and restore the museum to its status as a historical and cultural attraction.
“I am so glad this building is back, and grateful to those who had the presence of mind and the wisdom to turn it into a museum,” Honourable Wheatley said, adding, “It’s been such a great success story as part of our tourism product.”
Museum Board Member Ms. Ermin Penn shared some of the history of the museum, which welcomed visitors daily from 2002 to 2017.
Ms. Penn said, “We are very pleased at this time to offer the first floor, with a history of the house and information about the forts in the Territory.” She added that other items on display such as a mural and historic photos give a sense of what Road Harbour was like before extensive land reclamation began in 1966.
The historic-residence-turned-cultural-attraction contains a wide variety of items of historical significance, including photographs, journals and antique furniture dating back to the 1880s. The board hopes to continue the restoration on the second floor of the building in the future.
Reverend Dr. Ian Rock of St. Georges Anglican Church gave his blessings on the building which will re-open shortly to the public, weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and will be available for bookings for private functions on weekends and evenings.
More information, including details on how members of the public can support the museum, can be found at www.oghm.org.