Books about Anguilla


Monday, 2 July 2018


Recently while conversing with a friend we came to the realization that Anguilla is a young budding nation and probably one of a few select nations if not the only nation to have all of its national leaders still alive: Ronald Webster, Emile Gumbs, Osbourne Fleming, Hubert Hughes and Victor Banks. This amounts to a national treasure but it’s a treasure that will not always surround us and its time we begin to think about how we honour our leaders. It’s time we the people explore the option to create a national cemetery monument for our leaders. This monument must be reserved only for persons who served a Chief Minister, no Minister, National Hero, Civil Servant or ceremonial elite allowed. This monument is reserved for those who served Anguilla at the highest elected level. In light of this the society reserves the right to recognize these people at the highest level. I suggest this monument be located at the highest point of the island so that our leaders may symbolically watch over us for eternity. A perfect location would be at the site of the old court house on Crocus Hill. This site would create a merger of history, law, revolution and leadership. This must be done now, without any delay, as the vanguard of the 1967 revolution and the creators of a modern Anguilla is about to fade away; in five years it’s possible we would have missed the opportunity. If necessary for the sake of history as sometimes politics takes precedence over good sense, we might need to make it mandatory that this site be the final resting place for all Chief Ministers, our former President prior to recolonization and any other name designated to future leaders.

Anguillians as a people also need to pay greater attention to the condition of the cemeteries that litter the island. There is neither cleanliness nor order. Graves are not marked, the landscaping not maintained and the indiscriminate buildings of vaults are not sustainable. If humanity was burying its dead in vaults and steel caskets as we are presently doing the world would be a giant cemetery. It might not be culturally popular but cremation might be the best option. Recently, I visited a cemetery where they are now storing not burying the dead in above ground vaults; this again is taking funerals to another unsustainable dimension. Cemeteries are not just burial sites but also important repository of history. For example I am not sure how many of us as Anguillians are aware of the fact that the public cemetery at Sandy Ground is the site of three very different burial grounds going back to slavery. We have the larger section that is presently used, however beside it in a now dilapidated wall and broken tomb stones are the burial ground going back to 17th Century. This burial ground however is divided into two sections, the front section with the marked tomb stones was reserved for Whites only, the back unmarked and overgrown section consists of the part reserved for Blacks. This separation of the dead is not a legacy we are proud of but it’s an important part of our history.
In closing I hope we begin to take our history serious and begin preserving it for future generations. In the divided society we presently live I can only hope this proposal not become a political foot ball.

By: Statchel Warner

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“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity” – MLK.