Geologist corrects error
The?cave that runs under Erdiston Teachers’ Training College does not extend under the offices of the Canadian High Commission at Bishop’s Court Hill, St Michael.
Canadian geologist Professor Hans Machel, who had expressed concern about the cave when he gave evidence to the Coroner’s Court last Monday, told the DAILY?NATION yesterday that he had made an error when he told the court that the cave extended under the offices of the commission.
Machel explained that he informed Coroner Faith Marshall-Harris of the error, which he said was made because the commission’s buildings are placed incorrectly on the map Bridgetown & Environs, which was issued by the Government.
He said he realized the error only when Associate Editor at THE NATION, Maria Bradshaw, questioned him about the commission’s building. However, he stressed that there was still a cave running under the commission but it was not connected to the one under Erdiston.
In his letter to the Coroner, he wrote: “Last night Maria Bradshaw from THE NATION newspaper called me to verify which building(s) of the Canadian High Commission I was referring to in my testimony. Not knowing these buildings first hand I had trusted the map Bridgetown & Environs scale 1:5,000 from 1999, issued by the Barbados Government.
“It turns out that the labelling on this map for the Canadian High Commission is placed incorrectly, as are the locations of the Chancery and the other buildings that belong to the commission. Specifically, the map’s labelling for the Canadian High Commission is placed north of the Chancery across some residential structures that are located between the Chancery and Erdiston College, and the Chancery’s footprint on the map is farther north than its actual position. This led me to conclude that these structures are part of the Canadian High Commission’s complex. They are not.
“The other buildings of the commission are to the south of the Chancery.
I verified this finding in three ways: site visit last night, comparison with a Google Earth satellite map, and a telephone call to the commission this morning. As a consequence, I am herewith correcting one part of my verbal testimony from yesterday: the southern limit of Berwick Cave is not under the Canadian High commission complex but under the residential structures between the Commission and Erdiston College. The attached images show the outline of Berwick Cave on the 1999 Government map as well as on a Google Earth satellite photo image.
“This finding does not imply that there is no cave under the Canadian High Commission. There is one, but it is separate from Berwick Cave. Richard Goddard affirmed this morning that Colonel Connell, now deceased, whose wife still lives on top of Berwick Cave (the main entrance is on her property), reported that a cave was discovered under what now is the Chancery when it was built around 1970, during which time several human skeletons were retrieved from the construction site, probably from the soil above the cave, possibly from within the cave (I cannot verify one or the other).
“Goddard informed the Canadian High Commission in 2007 of this cave, shortly after the Arch Cot cave collapse, urging them to investigate the extent of the cave under their property. Sometime later he was told by a representative of the Canadian High Commission that the Canadians sent a team from Ottawa to investigate. The results of this investigation are not known to him or me.” (MB/PR)