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Historic handover

Umoja Rock

Historic handover

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History was made on Thursday evening at St Ann’s Fort, Garrison, St Michael, when  a newly completed Hodgson Hall was handed over to the Commanding Officer of the Barbados Regiment.Major Ricardo Vickers took the symbolic key that would mark the beginning of the new activities to take place in the building, which will serve the Reserve arm of the BDF, as well as provide space for the band to practise and house its equipment.Hodgson Hall was first built in 1941. It was constructed of timber and had asbestos sheeting for the roof. It housed the Barbados Volunteer Force that served in World War II. The hall was equipped for staging theatrical productions and projecting movies, and over the years it was the venue for many training and social activities. In the 1970s it was the medical unit’s company office and headquarters, and French classes were available in the evenings.In 1973 Colonel Leonard Banfield decided to name all the buildings in the Fort, and this one was named after Sir Frederick Hodgson, who became the commanding officer of the fort until the BDF took it over in 1905. The hall also has a chequered history, being the site of the murder of a corporal by a private. Work towards the provision of the new hall started in September 2009, with professional removal of the asbestos and the razing of the old structure to the ground. Tenure procedures delayed the start of construction until the March 1, 2010, and was completed on July 9, under the budget of Bds$1 020 389.97, as reported by project manager LieutenantLubin ARC Maxwell.Sitting in the midst of newly landscaped grounds, the building, which is over 5 400 square feet, is made of purple heart panels so that it can be dismantled and moved if necessary, and it has been refitted with hi-tech network cabling. It will house offices, a library, a lecture hall and a practice room for the band.