(St. Christopher National Trust) St. Kitts and Nevis – August 28, 2017: The sound of children’s voices raised in song filled the air at the National Museum on Saturday morning (August 26th) as the curtains came down on its Dasani-Harper’s heritage House Storytelling Series. Musician, composer, poet and performance artist Creighton “Papa George” Pencheon regaled the children with the tale of Markus King of the Woods, an African enslaved man who escaped captivity from Cunningham Estate in the 19th century.
Markus led a band of some 30 other maroons who roamed the high forested areas of St. Kitts in the 1830s, raiding plantations for food, animals and firearms. Papa George captivated the children with his re-counting of Markus’ story. He sang folk songs, and taught them an old Negro spiritual and a song that he has composed about Markus. The inaugural Heritage House Series was a huge success.
All sessions were booked to capacity and the feedback from parents and children was exceptionally positive. Volunteers are already coming forward to serve as storytellers for the next series. The National Trust looks forward to hosting the Heritage House again next summer and is already making plans to hold other activities for children during the school year. Designed for children aged 6-12 years old, was hosted on Saturday mornings from July 8th to August 26th. The sessions are held inside the National Museum, in a room that has been transformed into a fun storytelling space.
The Trust extends its profound thanks to Dasani Water (Agents: Koscab St. Kitts and Nevis) and Harpers Office Depot and all of its other partners who sponsored the cost of registration for the children so the entire series could be offered free of cost: Caribelle Batik, Caribbean Journey Masters, Caribbean Reads, the Department of Youth Empowerment, Gary’s Fruits Flowers and the Social Security Board along with a number of private patrons. A special mention must be made of Mr. Maurice A Widdowson from Caribelle Batik, who came forward and pledged to pay for the registration cost for children for the first two weeks of the Series. He then called on other companies and organizations to do the same.
His generous gesture caught the public’s attention, and within the space of a few days, the Trust had enough pledges to cover the cost of all eight weeks of the Series. The Trust also wished to thank the wonderful readers who so readily and enthusiastically gave of their time: Schneidman Warner, Troy Hendrickson, Deputy Prime Minister Shawn Richards, Jihan Williams, Dr. Kimberly Stewart and Tricia Greaux, Jaya Relwani, Charisse Gumbs and Creighton “Papa George” Pencheon. Deepest appreciation is also extended to the Director of Youth Empowerment Pierre Liburd and Document and Research Specialist at the Department of Culture Marlene Phillips who designed and helped build the Heritage House.
Ms Phillips also served as a videographer for the session with the Deputy Prime Minister. The National Trust also offers its thanks to the parents, godparents, family and friends who signed up the children and brought them each week. The real stars of course though, were the children whose energy and enthusiasm filled the Heritage House every Saturday morning!