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Archives building about to be converted to a mess hall for members of the House of Assembly. There's been some talk on anguillatalk.com and the radio about what would become of the Forest Bay Customs House when the Conch Bay, now Fairmont, project is built. We have to pretend it's going to be built, because they claim to have sold $70 million worth of property.
On page 3 of last week's "Anguillian" there are some pictures of the proposed Blowing Point terminal that looks like it was designed by some people in Canada who don't understand hurricanes.
It also looks like something they'd build in Canada.
Do we want arriving tourists to think they're in Canada? Will putting two palm trees in front of the building change that? Is promoting traditional Anguillian design elements any of our business or should we outsource such issues to whatever loudmouth wants to use them to trash someone on a talk show?
And, now I hear that the archives building at the Court House is to be turned into a restaurant for the Members of Parliament's convenience. Is this progress or not? I suppose that we want them to be comfortable. Who cares about some old papers, anyway?
In 1980, I was walking across the Government Secretariat when I noticed Evalie Bradley burning some papers in a small bonfire. I asked her what she was doing. She said, “Col Roberts told me to burn the files from the Revolution to clear an old filing cabinet for him to use”. I went to see Ronald Webster and spoke to him about the importance of retaining Anguilla's archives for the future. He agreed and ordered the burning to stop. He appointed me Anguilla's first official archivist, on condition that it would not cost anything. Later that year, I had a line item of $1.00 inserted in the estimates for preserving the archives. I used the judicial department budget to purchase two filing cabinets. I filled them with the collection of the “Anguilla Beacon” donated by Atlin Harrigan, and other archival material. So far as I know the archives are all stored in the building in the Court House/House of Assembly complex to this day.
I fully expect they will now complete the job started, but left incomplete, by Col Roberts.
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