Find out what’s been happening at The Museum. Includes updated post of previous events, visitors, volunteers, our monthly newsletter and more!
The Community Garden project is off to a great start thanks to Grace Bay Resorts Foundation and the Sales and Marketing Team who came out in full force to clear the designated site within the Turks and Caicos National Museum campus in the Village at Grace Bay Providenciales.
The primary objective of the garden project, spearheaded by Nutrition in Demand, is to encourage persons to grow their own food, eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and promote a healthier lifestyle. Turks and Caicos National Museum is happy to be collaborating on this project. Farming showcased in the Caicos Heritage Exhibit as an integral part of the lifestyle of the 1900s is no longer typical to the islands. The Community Garden gives persons who may need some encouragement to start gardening an ideal space to do so in a social setting with access to technical support from the Department of Agriculture.
Special thanks to Grace Bay Resorts Foundation and the Sales and Marketing Team, Ms. Daphne Forbes and all of the other volunteers who participated in the clearing project as well as those who worked behind the scenes to provide the necessary support. The garden space is now clear. Volunteers are welcome to sign up to assist as this Community Garden Project progresses. For more information, please contact Tamika Handfield 442-3978.
We congratulate Holy Family Academy, the winner of the Turks and Caicos National Museum’s fourth annual History and Cultural Heritage Quiz! Well done! Congratulations to Raymond Gardiner High School on their second place win and third consecutive win as a quiz finalist!
Thank you to the nine secondary schools for participating in the quiz, to the teachers, parents and students for their hard work that went into the preparation for participation in this quiz. It was a closely contested quiz with an exciting finish.
Special thanks to our sponsors, Fortis TCI, interCaribbean Airways, TC Reef Fund, Grace Bay Car Rentals, United Taxi Alliance and the Departments of Education and Culture. We say thank you the Teacher’s Workshop facilitators, Quiz committee, Rachel Harvey, Drexler Smith, Brandon Handfield, Brenda Clare, Enid Capron Ripsaw Band and our dedicated volunteers.
Delivering on a promise made by the Hon. Premier, Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson earlier this year at the inaugural Museum fundraising Gala, Hon. Karen Malcomb, Minister of Education, Youth, Culture and Library Services presented a fifty-thousand-dollar sponsorship check to the Turks and Caicos National Museum Foundation (TCNMF) at the third Right Excellent JAGS McCartney Lecture Series at the National Memorial Site.
The money will be used by the museum to:
Expand and create new events which will increase their fundraising ability and community programming,
Expand the museum’s research programming into little known aspects of TCI history to also include local students that can train in heritage management
Create new products to help educate locals on undiscovered TCI history,
Develop new exhibits, and
Expand the archival storage ability to help with the increased request to store historic documents.
Museum Director, Dr. Michael Pateman explains that “Over the next year we will be premiering many new programs including a documentary on traditional boat building, several history books aimed at the local schools, new exhibits on Salt and Governance in the TCI and so much more.”
President of the TCNMF Seamus Day said, “On behalf of the Members and Directors, we thank the Turks and Caicos Islands government and especially the Hon. Premier for this support. Over the last several years, the Museum has refocused on incorporating the local community more into our events, programs and exhibits and the government’s support will really allow us to expand on that.”
The sponsorship check from the government was not the only donation the Museum received during heritage month. Mr. Alton Higgs a traditional “bush doctor” from Lorimers, Middle Caicos (now resident on Grand Turk) gave the museum a basket he made from coconut leaves and stems marking the occasion of his 99th Birthday on October 17th 2019.
The TCNMF is a registered not for profit organization aimed at recording, interpreting, preserving and celebrating the history of the Turks and Caicos Islands and its people. The TCNMF is headquartered at two-hundred-year-old Guinep House on Grand Turk and also has a facility in the Village of Grace Bay on Providenciales.
The TCNM & DECR Eco Camp 2019 on Grand Turk was a great success. We had a big group of great kids this year who enjoyed swim lessons, swimming, bird walk/scavenger hunt, Gibbs Cay trip, a tour of the National Park, learning about the environment and ocean life. Special thanks to Grand Turk Divers & White Sands Charters for the trip to Gibbs Cay, Island Tram for helping transport the kids and Deep Blue Charter for the informative boat ride about the National Park. Many others helped make this a success: Kerri-Ann Smith for volunteering and helping out, Ben Stubenberg for swim lessons, Amy Avenant from DECR for running the camp, Salt Raker, Osprey Beach Hotel, Big Mums, Sandbar and Hilary Day for the fantastic lunches! It was a week of Fun & Education! The club is made possible by sales of the book “Where is Simon? Sandy”, written by Donna Marie Seim.
There were many first time experiences for our campers at the Turks and Caicos National Museum’s 2019 Living History Summer Camp in the Village at Grace Bay, Providenciales. The making of homemade ice cream using a hand cranked ice-cream maker with Mr. Simmons was a delicious one. Another was the hydroponics farm; they were fascinated with the concept and had many questions for Mr. Harrison who graciously answered them all.
Though the visit to the desalination plant at Beaches Resort was another first, they were able to relate it the hydroponics farm since Mr. Harrison also uses desalinated water and so they developed an even greater appreciation for water, our scare but vital resource.
However, corn, with its origins attributed to the indigenous people of this region of the world, was the big story of the week. Each camper planted their very own corn seeds and took them home to nurture them into plants. They learnt how to grind corn to make grits and roast corn outside on the fire and of course, there was the popping of corn. Learning traditional dance steps from Mr. Bowen that culminated in a dance party was loads of fun. Speaking of fun that aptly describes the learning and playing the game of cricket lovely cricket with Coach Daryl. We did make some time to enjoy a picnic on the gorgeous North Shore Beach of Little Water Cay and learn all about the iguanas and mangroves. At our closing sessions they was a unanimous “best camp ever” so I think I can safely say the campers enjoyed summer camp 2019.
We say thank you to our sponsors and all who have made this year’s camp the success that it was. To Turks and Caicos Banking Company, Donna Seim, Mario Smith and the Department of Agriculture, Turks and Caicos National Trust, Turks and Caicos Cricket Association, Beaches Resort, Sunshine Nursery, David Bowen, Ian Harrison, Dekkel Simmons, Blovena Greene, Lloyd Stubbs, Ron Higgs, Tatiana Stubbs, Witlene Williams, Guilmese Gustave and Thania Phanord, thank you!
The July 20th event held up to its name of Grub, Grill and Good Times. The event was a great success. Front Street was lined with with vendors participating in a chicken and conch fritter cook-off. Liv’s Kitchen was the big winner taking home the prize money for both categories. Everyone that attended enjoyed the food, drinks and live band “Island Vibes”. The children played games and won prizes. Other Non-Profits participated to do some fund raising of their own making this a true community event. This will be an annual event and we expect it to be even better next year.
Back in the Day-2019
The third annual Museum Day Event, ‘Back in the Day’, was successfully held by the Turks and Caicos National Museum, Grace Bay, Providenciales on Friday, June 21 2019. The inclement weather that resulted in the postponement of the event from its originally scheduled date of May 18, International Museum Day was certainly not an issue this time around, as it was a beautiful sunny day. However, attendees welcomed the shade provided by the many tents in the garden.
Attendees stepped into the Caicos Heritage Homestead and were transported to the last century where they had the opportunity to learn, participate and observe many aspects of the traditional lifestyle typical to the early mid-1900s. Once some of our younger visitors understood workings of the hand crank ice cream maker, they enthusiastically helped Ms. Malcolm to turn it, while anxiously awaiting the promised ice cream. I have the fond memory of hearing a young student proudly say to her peers, ‘This is the ice-cream that I made’ satisfied with the outcome of her first time experience. The women of the Leeward Methodist Church Women’s Fellowship served up some delightfully delicious traditional treats.
Ms. Daphne Forbes, Mrs. Jane (Oleta) Missick and Mrs. Alveria Duncombe shared their stories they weaved baskets, made scrap mats and made grits. Many watched with interest as Ms. June Hawkins washed clothes using wash tubs, basins and scrubbing boards while others remembered those tedious tasks not very fondly I might add. Mrs. Bathel Handfield took us back to the days of roasted corn and sweet potatoes, which was a real treat. No detail was lost on the audience as Ms. Brenda Clare vividly described various aspects of life ‘Back in the Day’ and interjected colourful anecdotes. Mr. Bill Clare also shared stories from yesterday and Mrs. Cheryl Foreman who also co –hosted the event, helped to put everything in context.
The Caicos Sloop that Pastor Goldston Williams began building at the first ‘Back in the Day’ event was completed in time to be donated to the museum in time for this year’s event. Pastor Goldston, also demonstrated the weaving of fishing nets as he spoke of the importance of the Caicos Sloop in the cultural heritage of the islands.
Traditional games were a big hit especially the spinning of tops that were hand made by Pastor Gold. Mr. Dwight Myrie, Pastor Gold and Ms. Almartha Thomas were on hand to ably demonstrate, teach, reminisce and even compete with top spinning and other games. It was loads of fun and it shows that the pastimes of yesterday are still able to entertain today.
Enid Capron Primary School ripsaw band delighted the audience and got support and tips from the maestro Lindsay Butterfield (Zeus). Zeus, Alfred Robinson and Vaughn Hinds gave a fantastic performance and were able to give quick lessons and gain additional band members from the audience, young, young at heart, visitors and residents all got an instrument and joined in the fun. We even got a chance to see Dr. Jameiko Harvey’s skill with the saw. Mr. Arthur Dean’s performance included a repertoire that took us through time. Wrapping up the entertainment was the young Jahvian Braithwaite singing oldies as if he lived in that era and TCI poet Rachael Harvey reminding us of the importance of embracing our cultural heritage.
Special thanks to our sponsors, Department of Culture, Turks and Caicos Tourist Board, Turks and Caicos National Trust, TC Marina, Turks Head Brewery, T&C Refreshments, IGA Supermarkets, CBMS Ltd, Island Bargains, International Waste Water Treatment Technologies Ltd., Friends of the Arts, Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force Grace Bay Branch, Provo Water Company Ltd, June Hawkins, James Parker. A big thank you to Clement Howell Tourism Club, Abiola Streete, Shirley Atkins and to all of our volunteers who worked tirelessly to make this event the success that it was.
PRESS RELEASE: TURKS & CAICOS NATIONAL MUSEUM FOUNDATION:
Theme: Building for the future, to protect the past.
In the presence of the Hon. Premier of the Turks & Caicos Islands, Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson, Hon. Derek Taylor and Hon. Mike Eman, former Prime Minister of Aruba, The Turks & Caicos Islands National Museum Foundation (TCNMF) held its sold out inaugural gala at the beautiful Shore Club, sponsored by Stan Hartling and the Hartling group, to launch the fund raising campaign for the new national museum on Provo.
The gala was a resounding success and incredibly raised over $200,000 from this event alone! With funds coming from ticket sales, event sponsorship, advertising, silent auction, sale of engraved pavers and donations; with an unbelievably generous $100,000 alone coming from Martin & Donna Seim, Son of the original museum founder and board director respectively, to name the main gallery in honor of the late Nils and Grethe Seim.
MC for the night was Dr. Hugh Fulford, President of the TCI Community College and Board Director of TCNMF. Hugh kept everyone entertained and managed to extract additional funds from many!
The Hon. Premier made an impassioned speech about the importance of historical and cultural preservation and her governments support for the national museum, including a budgeted $50,000 in this year’s budget, increasing to $100,000 thereafter. The Hon. Premier also introduced the guest of honor and her old friend, Mike Eman, who she received the Chairmanship of OCTA from in February 2017.
Hon. Mike Eman traveled from Aruba to support the event, along with his wife Doina Eman and spoke about the importance of economic growth and increasing our capacity for luxury tourism, as they have done in Aruba, but also to ensure that education, housing, health and general well-being of our citizens is an intrinsic part of that growth and to take lessons from the past, particularly in relation to the sense of family, belonging and community. He also touched on the similar pre-Columbian history and architectural elements found on Aruba, at the other end of the Caribbean.
Award winning architect, Ron Shaw walked everyone through the new building design with an audio-visual presentation and spoke of the architectural elements throughout the island that inspired his incredible vision for the new national museum building and the ability to expand for future requirements without issue and to the energy efficiency of the building and the ability to utilize renewable energy.
Dr. Michael Pateman, Director of the TCNM spoke passionately about his vision for the future of the new museum, and how it should of course be informative and reflect the amazingly diverse history of the Turks & Caicos Islands, but that it will also be fun and entertaining; also what the museum will exhibit, with a real emphasis on the people of the islands and on embracing new technologies to appeal to a younger and wider tech savvy audience.
A truly delicious Dinner was prepared by the Shore Club’s Executive Chef Martin Davies and his team, which was served by The Clement Howell High School Tourism Club, who did an incredible job, as they pleasantly and efficiently served the entire gathering in record time; beaming with pride throughout the entire process. Future tourism professionals one and all!
During Dinner TCI cultural legend David Bowen and Friends stunned the entire audience with an incredible and unique cultural show that was especially put together for the gala with dancing, singing and storytelling about family, fishing, bush medicine and times past, with the beautiful voice of TCI songbird, Barbara Johnson.
TCNMF Board members, Hon. Derek Taylor, Dr. Don Keith and Mr. Thomas Saunders all received long service awards for their incredible 27 years of volunteering on the board of Directors, since the museums inception, and were presented with plaques made from the last 3 pieces of oak left over from the Grandfather Clock in the national museum and executive pens made from hurricane damaged trees from the museum garden on Grand Turk, to make a real connection to the museum. The awards were presented by the Hon. Premier.
A vote of thanks was given by Séamus Day, President of the TCNMF, acknowledging the sense of community that brought everyone together for the event and thanked the TCI Government, and all the incredible companies and individuals, that made the event possible, particularly the Hartling Group: The Shore Club, The Palms & The Sands, Mr. Ron Shaw, Karen Whitt, Martin Davies, Graceway, Jackson Family Wines, Ministry of Tourism, Gilley’s Enterprises, TCBC, TCHTA, Ritz Carlton, Amanyara, Parrot Cay, TC Collection, Grace Bay Resorts & Gracebay Foundation, Beaches, Wymara, Ocean Club, Fortis TCI, Turks Head Brewery, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Sotheby’s, Clearwater Capital, ERA Coralie Properties, The Agency, Intercaribbean Airways, Olympic Construction Ltd., Projectech, Spa Tropique, High Point Resort Orlando, Grace Bay Car Rentals and Grace Bay Paint & Supply. Additionally, the TCNMF team of professionals and volunteers, with special mention to Vanessa Pateman for her design work on the commemorative booklet and banners and the Krieble Foundation for all their incredible support spanning over a decade.
The silent auction raised an additional $5,500 and a huge thank you to all that donated.
The museum also launched their campaign to raise funds through the sale of laser etched bricks and pavers, so if you would like to have a brick engraved with the name of a loved one or your company and logo, please get in touch by calling our Director, Dr Pateman on 649 232 4535 or visit the museums website: www.tcmuseum.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org
These will be laid out on the main walkway to the new museum building, a wall of honor and the museum cultural and heritage gardens.
Other fund-raising initiatives include the naming rights to the new national museum building, galleries and gardens, so again, if you would like to support the national museum, please contact us to discuss partnering with The Turks & Caicos National Museum.
TCNMF is a registered not for profit organization aimed at recording, interpreting, preserving and celebrating the history of the Turks and Caicos Islands and its people.
We are excited to announce we will be hosting a Fundraising Gala Dinner at The Shore Club on Providenciales.
Saturday June 8th
6PM to 11PM
This event is being held to raise funding to break ground on the Providenciales museum designed by Ron Shaw.
We would like the community to view this as a wonderful opportunity to rally support for the expansion of the museum.
Ticket sales will begin later in April