It is indeed a rare thing in The Bahamas to find people that care – I mean really and truly care – about our history.
I say this because, first of all, it is a rare occurrence that relevant government agencies take the time and invest the money in order to maintain and preserve, much less restore important historical buildings.
So much of our history is rotting, decaying and falling into ruin and in time someone will come along and tear it down and clear it away, removing the last vestiges of our physical history relegating their memory to the pages of a book or perhaps a photograph.
It would be wrong to say that there’s no one within the government interested in the preservation of our history; however, they are typically limited by budget and restricted by government mandates and can only do so much – their efforts within the confines of their respective agencies should be applauded.
While I may criticize the government for their lackluster efforts in the preservation of our historical sites I now focus on the worst culprit – the Bahamian people.
We have lost our pride. Our sincere regard for our history, heritage and culture is all but gone. We are for the most part ready and willing to sell it all to the highest bidder.
I look at the icons of our past on Abaco’s landscape and the history – the foundation of who we are as a people – and I see too many buildings and structures rotting and crumbling away soon to be nothing more than mere memories.
It saddens and shames me that foreigners (second home owners and frequent visitors) seem to be the primary ones leading the charge in actively raising money and investing time and energy in restoring and preserving these national treasures.
This is something we must change. The path we are on will leave us devoid of our past and heritage. We can consider the economic value that it can provide us; however, the value of knowing our past and who we are as a people is something money cannot buy.
I would like to see more people realize the value of these historical treasures and become involved in preserving them for future generations to appreciate and experience. Let us have some pride in where we came from and how we have gotten to where we are as a people.
Let us be the ones who take care of our past. Let us show pride and lead the charge in preserving and restoring these historical sites and buildings. It’s long overdue that we be the ones showing the care, passion and love for our national treasures as much as our esteemed guests do.