The signs for the Turks and Caicos National Museum Development Office in the Village at Grace Bay are up! Thank you to Mr. Bradley Coalbrooke for the design and all of the other steps including the applications for the necessary permissions.
Special thanks to Mr. Kirkley Williams of AND Construction for facilitating the erecting of the signs. To Luckner and the rest of the AND team thank you! We really appreciate your support, could not have done it without you!
By Donald H Keith, Chairman
Board of Directors
The first time I met Sherlin it was in the Museum’s Science Building’s workshop. He was just putting the finishing touches on the 150 year-old clockwork mechanism that made the light turn. I was amazed because it was an intricate piece of equipment for which no plans or instructions were available. He had been working on it for months and through observation and persistence alone, figured it out by himself. It made more sense later when I learned that in a previous life he had a business in the Bahamas repairing high-end cameras! And he didn’t just repair them, he was a pretty good photographer too! In 2010 he showed me computer-manipulated artwork he was producing called “photocraphs”, each composed of scores or even hundreds of different images combined to tell a story.
Each time I made a visit to the Museum on Grand Turk Sherlin was there, always ready to explore newly discovered archaeological sites, conduct research in the Museum’s library, investigate a mystery, or get his hands dirty cleaning and conserving artifacts.
Over the years he authored several articles for the Astrolabe including, “Grand Turk’s Postcard Man,” and “The Time-Travelling Beach Comber”. Mr. Sherlin McDonald Williams died on January 2, 2017. He was an avid supporter of the Museum, a good friend, a native son of the TCI and one of its most ardent and active local historians—but he is not lost to us. He is still here in the Museum. You can hear him in the words he wrote, see photos of him working to preserve other people’s history, and admire the art he created, all preserved in perpetuity here in the Museum. You can read more about Sherlin Williams and his many contributions in the Spring 2017 issue of the Times of the Islands magazine.
The Museum is again proud to host Dr. Kelley Scudder-Temple, Mike Temple and Alex Temple working to finish digitizing 19th century church records from the Anglican and the Methodist Churches. Both churches will receive copies of these records on a USB memory stick so that they are viewable using a laptop. This will help to preserve the original records by having the information easily accessible. The records will also be available on the British Library web site in about one year.
The Museum is working with the Salem Baptist Church to do a sampling of their records to show just how important it is to have the records available without touching the originals. The team will be here through mid-February. We hope we can continue this important work by seeking donations and future grants. There is much more work to be done!
The TCNM has been busy with school visits already this year.
On Grand Turk we hosted students from the Faith Preparatory School on Grand Turk, and on February 1 we had 38 students from the Eliza Simons Primary School tour the Museum.
The students enjoyed a Private tour on both floors of the Turks and Caicos National Museum and had lots of questions for our tour guides. At the end of the visit, the children visited the gift shop and each student was given a pencil from the Museum.
On January 26 the Grade 7 class of Precious Treasures International School visited the museum’s development office. A historic visit since that is the school’s first Grade 7 class. Previously the school went up to Grade 6.
The four students were accompanied by history teacher Ms. Camille Wellington and a parent. They were very well prepared, asked lots of very interesting questions and took many notes on their IPads for their project on. All the best Grade 7.
We were pleased to welcome two groups of twenty-five each Grade 6 students from Osetta Jolly School on January 19.The groups were accompanied by Ms. Ms. Andrea Swaby and Ms. Ann Marie Williams respectively. They are preparing for the GSAT examinations this coming May. Success in the GSATs means they will be starting Secondary School or Grade 7 this coming September. I know that they are excited about that. Good luck to you class of Grade 6.
Mr. Ramon Andrews, new Director of the Tourist Board, and Mrs. Cheryl Forman, Change Manager, visited the Museum’s Grace Bay Development Office on January 10, 2017.
They joined a group of delighted guests from Grace Bay Club Resort on a tour of the Development Office exhibit and the Caicos Heritage House and garden. Mr. David Bowen, Director of Wellness, Culture and Entertainment at Grace Bay Club Resort, gave a presentation on cultural heritage in the Caicos Heritage House.
The Turks & Caicos National Museum hosted a gala 25th Anniversary event on November 26. The guests were not only treated to canapes and champagne but also to a ‘time travel’ experience.
Our Providenciales representative Candianne Williams greeted guests as they started slogging in after a rainy afternoon. To their surprise, and sometimes astonishment, she presented each with a card—their “persona” for the rest of the evening—and the challenge of locating themselves and their place in history among the Museum’s exhibits. Some cards bore the names of historical figures or personnel associated with the Museum, while others had the names of crew members serving on the Spanish ship of exploration and discovery, La Joya Pequena (“the Little Gem”), the “stage name” we gave to the Molasses Reef Wreck for the evening. See more event photos at our FaceBook page Turks & Caicos National Museum Foundation.
History and Cultural Heritage Workshop for Teachers in preparation for the National History and Cultural Heritage Quiz for Secondary Schools March 7th 2017!
Special thanks to Dwyane Krzanowski and the great team from our Corporate Sponsor FortisTCI!
Thank you facilitators: Mrs. Nikki Jennings – National Museum’s Tour Guide, Mrs. Amy Avenant – Environmental Outreach Coordinator, Dept. of Environment and Coastal Resources, Ms. Angella Freites Cultural Officer Department of Culture, Mr. David Bowen from Grace Bay Resorts Community Foundation, Dr. Carlton Mills – Author ‘History of the Turks and Caicos Islands’, Pastor Samuel Goldston Williams and Mr. James Parker, Turks and Caicos Maritime Heritage Federation; you did a wonderful job.
Special thanks to the teachers representing secondary schools on all of the islands for your attendance and for the fantastic discussion.
Thanks to the Department of Education especially Mr. Mark Garland and Mr. David Bowen for your support and assistance in organizing this very successful event.