Find out what’s been happening at The Museum. Includes updated post of previous events, visitors, volunteers, our monthly newsletter and more!
November 1, 2011 – Our outgoing Chief Justice Gordon Ward and his wife Meg have donated a Royal Albert Bone China Tea Set to the Turks & Caicos National Museum. This exquisite set belonged to his mother Ellinor Ward.
Of course we will not divulge the age of the Chief Justice just to satisfy our curiosity! Suffice to say, he was born in Kut Ching in Borneo (now Malaysia) and was the third generation of his English family to be born there, so he came of age in the Colonial Era.
The tea set for 4 is in perfect condition. We are hoping to display it in the planned exhibit of a colonial administrator’s office. On behalf of the Museum, we thank the Wonderful Wards for leaving this family heirloom in our care. The memory of Ellinor Ward, her son and daughter-in-law will live on in Grand Turk.
October 12, 2011 – In an effort to promote the sister islands, Air T&C is offering an excursion fare from Providenciales to our nation’s capital. As part of the “Grand Turk Discovery Day Tour” package, the lucky passengers receive round trip air travel, a taxi tour of Grand Turk, a leisurely visit to the National Museum and lunch at a local restaurant.
Recently the staff responsible for selling this fabulous tour was given the chance to experience it first hand. I arranged to meet the group at the museum before opening hours so they would have a chance to truly savor the museum without distractions. What a charming and enthusiastic staff they are. I am sure they will convince many tourists and residents of Provo to visit Grand Turk and most importantly the museum. An institution that has preserved and promoted the history, culture and heritage of the Turks and Caicos Islands for twenty years.
We are so privileged to be able to offer our visitors a journey from the Ice Age to the Space Age with an extraordinary stop in the Age of Discovery. We never disappoint and we almost always amaze! So thank you all at Air Turks & Caicos for including our wonderful old house on your excursion to Grand Turk. We look forward to offering your passengers a memorable experience.
Air Turks & Caicos staff from left to right: Andre Kerr, photographer; Maria Garth, Director of Customer Services; Guerline Jeune, Lead Reservation Agent; Dina Awad & Alexandra Missick, Reservation Agents.
For more information contact Reservations at Air T&C or call 649-946-4999.
15 July 2011 – Bird week was a great success for the Turks and Caicos National Museum and their partner, the UK Overseas Territories Conservation Forum (UKOTCF). After almost nine years in the planning stages, these Trails have become a reality due to a grant from the Carnival/TCInvest/TCIGovernment Infrastructure Fund.
There is now a “Walking Bird” and a “Driving Bird” tour on Grand Turk with clearly marked trail signs, placed on downed telephone poles which were donated and installed by Turks and Caicos Utilities.
This week long event, commencing on July 11, had an “early bird” walk with students and teachers from HJ Robinson High School and Dr. Mike Pienkowski and Ann Pienkowski showed the students the wonderful birds found along the Salina’s. After the bird walk the students went to through the Botanical Garden, next to the Museum. The DECR loaned five pairs of binoculars for this event.
The Bird Drive Tour on Thursday evening, July 14, was a sold-out event. Twenty-two adults and two children rode on a bus donated by Caribbean Tours International, who also supplied 22 pairs of binoculars. What an event, even the birds cooperated! With Dr. Mike Pienkowski leading the group, even the novice birder was fascinated by the amount of different birds seen so very close.
Flamingo’s took off from Town Salina just as the bus was approaching, giving the group a firsthand look at these beautiful birds in flight. An Osprey sat on the remnants of a windmill, posing for the group to take photos. We saw Black Necked Stilt five day old chicks wading in the Great Salina while their Mother watched carefully. There were ducks aplenty at South Wells, and Egrets, Pelicans and Herons at North Creek. One very brave Cattle Egret even walked in front of the bus over 100 yards as if to say “follow me for the best birding ever”.
After this wonderful Bird Tour the group went to Jack’s Shack to have a tasty meal. Jack donated some of the proceeds of the evening back to the Museum.
Friday morning, July 15, we had the Official Opening of the Bird Trails. Ms. Lillian Swann Misick cut the ribbon with many guests watching. The guests then proceeded into the Osprey Beach Hotel where Dr. Mike had a short presentation about the importance of these Bird Trails. All participants received a lovely Osprey Commemorative Lapel Pin.
The Turks and Caicos National Museum would like to thank the following supporters that made these events so successful.
Carnival/TCInvest/TCIGovernment Infrastructure Fund
Caribbean Tours International
Osprey Beach Hotel
Turks and Caicos Utilities
For more information about the tours and to purchase copies of the guides, Contact us at the Museum.
4 July 2011 – The Turks and Caicos National Museum, in partnership with the UK Overseas Territories Conservation Forum (UKOTCF) is pleased to announce that the week of July 11-15 is “Bird Week.”
The Bird Walking and Driving Tours will officially open that week. These tours were made possible by a grant from the Carnival/TCInvest/TCIG/Infrastructure Fund. Turks and Caicos Islands is the first country in the Caribbean to have a sanctioned Bird Trail!
Both tours can be self guided, with the help of the Bird Guide Cards that are available for sale at the Museum. Once officially open, these cards will also be available at other outlets.
Many activities are planned for this week, including a Bird Driving Tour with Leading Ornithologist Dr. Mike Pienkowski, a student Bird Walking Tour with Dr. Mike Pienkowski, a movie night at the Museum, and the grand opening of the tours on Friday July 15, 2011.
The Museum will also be working with DECR’s Junior Warden Programme to show the importance of the Salt Ponds/Wetlands and how they attribute to the many species of birds found in TCI.
The birds of the Turks and Caicos are an intimate part of the wetlands ecosystem. Birding here is exceptionally good, as one can see many species of birds very close up. This is a very rare occurrence and makes TCI one of the world’s best places to bird watch.
For information on the times of these activities, please contact the Museum at firstname.lastname@example.org
16 June 2011 – Thanks to the efforts of M. Yves Micheli, permanent resident of Providenciales, the Turks & Caicos National Museum is pleased to announce the receipt of a $40,000 grant from Fondation AGENA, Lichtenstein, for the Capital Campaign in support of a new museum campus in the Village at Grace Bay, Providenciales. The Museum is acquiring 2.6 acres of property in the Village for the new facility as well as for an outdoor exhibit area. A ground-breaking is scheduled for November 23, 2011, which will mark the Museum’s 20th anniversary.
M. Micheli stated “This is a contribution that I am proud to have obtained for the future Museum in this country that I love, and where I have been residing happily for many years.”
L-R: Jeff Lee, Kenrick Walters, Stan Hartling
Mr. Kenrick Walters of Bordier International Bank and Trust represented M. Micheli for the formal presentation of the check. On hand to receive the donation were Mr. Stan Hartling, Trustee of the Museum and Mr. Jeff Lee, JAL Consultants, architect for the new building and member of the Museum’s Development Committee.
Fondation AGENA was presented an artist rendition by Messers Hartling and Lee. Kenrick Walters accepted the artist sketch on behalf of the M. Micheli and the Fondation.
The event was held at the offices of Bordier International Bank and Trust and was covered by the media. The public responses received have been overwhelmingly positive. For more information about the Museum or to support the Capital Campaign, please contact Dr. Donald H Keith, chairman of the Board of Trustees.
11 March 2010 – As part of her work here as the Endangered Archives Project Principal Investigator and Archivist, Melanie coordinated one of a series of workshops and seminars involving government offices and local church leaders. Mr. Tim Law from the Familysearch project in Utah, one of the largest online genealogical sites and repositories of family history information in the world, was an invited speaker. The morning involved a presentation by Law on the history and background of how Familysearch works to digitize and preserve family history records around the world and how the process has changed since the early plate cameras of the 1930’s when it was started. With a lively question and answer session throughout, Melanie followed up with a short Powerpoint presentation on the Basics of Archives. Covering Site, Storage, Handling and Cleaning with some interesting pictures taken from her investigations and preservation work in the Turks and Caicos Islands!
Having already visited the TCI Registry Offices, after the workshop finished Tim and Melanie visited the Anglican church with Reverend Mark Kendall, where we discovered the early registers from 1865 from Salt Cay with Births and Burials included! The last trip was to the Baptist Church where there are also some interesting records from this period regarding North and Middle Caicos and Provo (Blue Hills then). With a little follow-up and contract signing to make sure that all privacy laws are upheld we hope to go ahead with copying all the records we have found so far and enable much greater public access.
Participants included: Ms. Clara Gardiner, Permanent Secretary for Border Control and Immigration; Ms. Sharon Taylor, Under Secretary, Border Control and Immigration; two staff from Border Control and Immigration; Ms. Sigrid Lightbourne Registrar, Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages; Rev. Mark Kendall, Anglican; Father Mark Christmas, Methodist; Pastor Chad Archibold, Baptist. Apologies were sent by Ms. Mary Harvey, Permanent Secretary; Ms. Emily Malcolm DC South Caicos; Ms. Almaida Wilson DC Salt Cay; Mr Edwin Astwood, Secretary to the Governor; and Bryan Been, Tourist Board
13 February 2011 – Some very lucky early birds got a chance to “walk with the pros” on a trial run of the bird trail. Dr. Mike Pienkowski, the leading ornithologist for the UK Overseas Territories and his lovely wife Ann, led a small group of “birders” at 6:30AM from the Osprey Beach Hotel around the Salinas. Read more about it
3 November 2010 – Partnering with the UK Overseas Territories Conservation Forum, the Museum is hoping to establish a variety of bird watching tours. The Grand Turk Bird Walking Tour, a Bird Driving Tour, and a bus tour all as part of an eco-tourism tour, should be up and running by the first quarter, 2011. The Guinep House Gift Shop in the Museum will also be selling packs of bird postcards called “Flights of Fancy”, which have 6 postcards each one showing a unique bird from a different UK Territory in the Wider Caribbean.They are a perfect gift for your favorite ornithologist!
9 June 2010 – The Museum’s application to the British Library’s Endangered Archives Project was accepted. The project’s focus will be to invenoty, preserve, and where possible, collect pre-1900 records from around the Islands. The project will get underway in September and run for six months. If you are aware of early TCI documents, contact the museum so that they can be included in the inventory.
23 February 2010 – Today the History Channel video of the Trouvadore story went live on the Smithsonian’s Ocean Portal website at “Today’s Catch.” The Ocean Portal is a unique, interactive online experience that inspires awareness, understanding, and stewardship of the world’s Ocean, developed by the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History and more than 20 collaborating organizations. Trouvadore and the video is also featured in a kiosk at the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum in the Sant Ocean Hall. Trouvadore was one of only four ocean stories to be selected for this prestigeous two-year exhibit.