Members of the Defence Force members fire replicas of guns used by Fourth West India Regiment. (Picture courtesy SKNIS)
BASSETERRE, St Kitts – Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris commended the Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park Society (BHFNPS) and its founding members, for having the vision and foresight of safeguarding the heritage of St Kitts and Nevis.
The praise came at the recent BHFNPS’s Human Chain and Sunset Ceremony and Beating the Retreat to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Founding of the Society.
Several outreach activities of the society were outlined including the staging of the Emancipation Concert, the activities undertaken during History and Heritage Month as well as the partnering with other non-government organisations (NGOs) in raising the consciousness of youth.
“I must express the profound gratitude of the government of national unity and all the people of the Federation for their past endeavours, especially as our Gibraltar of the West Indies continues to be a magnet for locals and visitor,” Prime Minister Harris stated. … “As we work to bring more visitors, the Park will always be featured prominently as a main attraction, so the economic value can’t be ignored.”
Special attractions of the ceremony were the human chain comprising students and young people running from the base of Brimstone Hill to the citadel and the St Kitts-Nevis Defence Force’s Beating the Retreat. Initially used as a signal to retreat during battle, this tradition later was used as a means of alerting soldiers, who were passing their free time in the villages, that it was time to return to barracks for the night.
There was also a re-enactment by the Defence Force of soldiers outfitted in the Fourth West India Regiment uniforms. Members of the Carolina Corps of the West India Regiment that fought in the War for American Independence were sent to the West Indies and joined local slaves to became part of the Fourth West India Regiment that served in St Kitts. (PR)