FRC officials vow to rebuild after tragic fire

Officials of the Folk Research Centre (FRC) have vowed to continue the work of the organization after the building and all its contents were destroyed in a late night fire on Sunday.

FRC Executive Director Hilary La Force, described the incident as disheartening and he urged St Lucians to save the legacy of the Folk Research Centre.

“We are sad to say we lost everything,” confirmed FRC Founding Director, Fr. Patrick Anthony at a news conference this morning.

The St Lucia Fire Service received the fire call at 10:19pm. When fire officers arrived on the scene at Mount Pleasant, Castries the building was already fully engulfed in flames, authorities say.

“FRC was in a building but FRC was not a building. FRC was a concept of development, FRC was a vision of culture and national development and identity. And where as fire can burn a building, fire cannot burn a vision, cannot burn a concept, Fr. Anthony said.

La Force said the fire provided a new opportunity for the organization to redouble its efforts to continue the legacy of the Centre.

“While the building and all this valuable information we gathered over the past 45 years, in terms of print, video, audio. These maybe destroyed, it may be difficult to replace them but the heart and soul of our culture is still with us, La Force said.

The Folk Research Centre houses an extensive library of publications, audio visual recordings and photographs and is the major study centre for work carried out into Saint Lucia’s folk culture, according to information on the organization’s website.

La Force called on St Lucians to contribute to save the legacy of the institution.

“We hope that St Lucia would rally behind St Lucia’s culture, not FRC per say, but around St Lucia’s culture and ensure that this life continues long after people like myself and the rest of us,” La Force said.

Father Anthony said while it was a “sad and tragic” moment for the FRC it’s also a moment of opportunity to recommit, as St Lucians, to national culture and development.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Such a tragic loss of our recorded and documented cultural heritage as decades of research have gone up in flames. The FRC was also an intimate venue for many plays, presentations and performances and this means that the National Cultural Centre is one of the few spaces left in Central Castries for the performing and visual arts. Going forward we must install state-of-art fire detection (and prevention) systems at all buildings e.g. Civil Status Registry, Land Registry, National Archives and National Trust which house vital public records and priceless national artifacts. The loss of the FRC building has me feeling that Saint Lucia is becoming a cultural desert. I hope, for the sake of society, that this fire was not the result of foul play.

  2. I would hope that in their era of technology that we were able to digitally save some records of our heritage

  3. Typical nonsense talk by Paba. This is why our country has gone backward after years of Independence. The FRC officials should be coming out to say we are sorry decades of our history has gone up in smoke under our watch! St Lucia has a history of fires. 4 major fires from the 1920s to 1960s. Now in 2018 our patrimony goes up in smoke again and you all come with the usual nonsense talk to cover your incompetence.
    There should be an official enquiry but instead you already asking taxpayers to cover for you mismanagement. I am mad as ever and it is this blatant lack of personal responsibility why little St Lucia has a $2 billiion+ public debt because for the last 14 years under the SLP you all think the taxes and borrowing is wealth. Please get some real adults in the room to assess this tragedy and stop listening to clowns who just want to CYA for their incompetence.
    You cannot think big when you all think like 3 world jokers. Heads should roll.

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