On Thursday, May 30 at 1:30 p.m. over 70 people came together for a relaxed afternoon watching scenes from Shakespeare, listening to music and enjoying refreshments to raise money to help restore Old Government House Museum. A total of $2000 was raised - all donated to help renovate Old Government House and gardens.
The fundraiser was conceived as part of a ‘site specific’ drama course at Cedar International School by drama teacher Mary Ormond. The scenes performed from the plays Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream made the most of the beautiful Old Government House garden space. Alongside the Cedar drama group, concert singer Ms. Julia Leonard also volunteered her time and gave her support to the event. Ms. Leonard sang three memorable songs and musician Mr. Steve Butcher played classical piano tunes.
The event continues the fundraising campaign launched by the Governor and the Old Government House Museum Board earlier this year to ‘Love Old Government House’. The Board is aiming to reopen at least the garden and one or two rooms of the historic building by the end of 2019 so that locals and visitors can once again enjoy this special place.
Ms. Ermin Penn spoke to the audience about the importance of Old Government House Museum. She pointed out, “There are remains of military barracks on the grounds and the house itself was the official residence and family home of the Governors for over 100 years from the 1890’s until 1996.”
The members of the Board of Old Government House Museum are working on plans to make the grounds better than ever with historical trails that include aspects of the garden related to Virgin Islands’ history. There will be information about the old barracks, information about the setting prior to land reclamation and information about how the house was badly damaged by the hurricanes of 2017. There are also ideas about including other aspects of Virgin Islands life, such as having a pergola in a peaceful part of the gardens with waterproof speakers playing testimonies of life in the Territory in the 20s, 30s and 40s.
The Board is very thankful to Cedar International School and Ms. Julia Leonard for their support, and everyone who attended this memorable event. Donations continue to be gratefully received on the Old Government House Museum website oghm.com.