(Castries, December 12, 2016) The Executive of the Saint Lucia Archaeological and Historical Society (SLAHS) feels more confident to implement plans for its upcoming Annual General Meeting, following a special membership meeting last week. Staged on 8 December 2016 at the CSA Centre, San Souci, the meeting saw members and the general public expressing their thoughts on the current status and future positioning of the SLAHS.
“Given the invaluable work that the Society has accomplished over the last sixty-two (62) years of its existence, notwithstanding its many challenges, the time is right to turn a new leaf and chapter, to begin a new phase of transformation for the benefit of our youth and future generations yet unborn”, notes President Martin Satney in welcoming the audience.
Thursday’s meeting was preceded by a presentation from Winston Phulgence, Lecturer at the Sir Arthur Lewis College, on “Preserving and Managing St. Lucia’s Archaeological and Historical Assets for Future Generations – The Role and Function of the SLAHS”. This was followed by a spirited discussion with the audience.
“The Archaeological and Historical Society is in a beautiful position. We know what we have; let’s use it, let’s engage around it.” noted Phulgence, “There are different streams of history. Let them speak…Destroy this narrative of seven times British, seven times French.”
A return to the vibrancy of years gone by was requested from the floor, with suggestions of activities and programmes that can be undertaken to engage the public. The opportunity for the Society to work at the school level was emphasized, noting that Saint Lucia is one of only two countries in the world where the history of the country is not taught in schools. While it is difficult to change perceptions and perspectives, the consensus was that the SLAHS must undertake to continue this effort, as the voices of leadership is important in the struggle to give life to our history and, in the words of Phulgence, “give back to the people who they are”.
“Let us start a conversation with ourselves; let’s reflect on our history. It’s a collective thing”, Historical Secretary Laurent Jean Pierre urge attendees at the special meeting, as they are encouraged to continue to support the work of the SLAHS.
The next major activity of the Saint Lucia Archaeological and Historical Society is the election of a new executive in January 2017.