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At war with heritage

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The grumbling has been building over the past week with the revelation that the Chaguaramas Military Museum may be decommissioned. This museum had its modest beginnings in 1991 at the home of Gaylord Kelshall, a highly decorated commander in the Second World War. He devoted several withering years of going cap in hand for donations to sustain this critical record of this nation’s military history and the many citizens who fought alongside allied forces to push back the relentless advance of the Nazi war machine.  


The Chaguaramas Development Authority has fired the opening salvo of what promises to be a bitter conflict: development imperatives pitted against the preservation of our national heritage. It always appears as though both noble objectives are always on opposite sides of the battlefield when they really ought to be allies in the fight for sustainable development that benefits all citizens. 


With eight years remaining on a 30-year lease, the CDA has plainly stated that it does not share the same developmental goals as the Military Museum. The CDA envisions the expansion of its wildly popular boardwalk concept. Some may think it an obvious choice to incorporate the museum into the boardwalk plans. Sunday boardwalkers can still do their grunt and crapaud fishing, kayaking or gaudy floatation device purchasing.