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‘Treat your inheritance well’- Hon Pickering as Copper Mine Visitor Center opens

- Says it will determine their success or failure as a nation
The cutting of the ribbon for the opening of the Copper Mine Visitor Centre on Virgin Gorda today, January 27, 2017 was done by Franka A. Pickering, Founding Member of the Copper Mine Restoration Committee, in the presence of, from left, Dr The Hon Hubert O'Neal (R9) and Governor John S. Duncan OBE, Chairperson of the National Parks Trust Board Ayana S. Hull and Deputy Premier Dr The Hon Kedrick D. Pickering. Photo: VINO
The Copper Mine Point Visitor Centre seen from the public road. Photo: VINO
The Copper Mine Point Visitor Centre seen from the public road. Photo: VINO
Some of the persons at the opening of the Copper Mine Visitor Centre on Virgin Gorda today, January 27, 2017. Photo: VINO
Some of the persons at the opening of the Copper Mine Visitor Centre on Virgin Gorda today, January 27, 2017. Photo: VINO
Paraphernalia available at the Copper Mine Visitor Centre. Photo: VINO
Paraphernalia available at the Copper Mine Visitor Centre. Photo: VINO
The cake for the commissioning of the Copper Mine Point Visitor Centre. Photo: VINO
The cake for the commissioning of the Copper Mine Point Visitor Centre. Photo: VINO
Some of the ruins at the Copper Mine National Park. Photo: VINO
Some of the ruins at the Copper Mine National Park. Photo: VINO
COPPER MINE POINT, Virgin Gorda, VI- Deputy Premier Dr The Honourable Kedrick D. Pickering (R7), who is also the Minister for Natural Resources and Labour, has challenged Virgin Islanders to understand the value of their inheritance and treat it well.

Dr Pickering, who was delivering remarks at the National Parks Trust of the Virgin Islands dedication of the Copper Mine Point National Park Visitor Centre at Copper Mine Point, Virgin Gorda on Friday January 27, 2017 said the way that the territory’s inheritance is cared for and enhanced will determine whether the Virgin Islands becomes a success or a failure.

Centre raises aesthetics of Copper Mine

According to the Deputy Premier, the new Visitor Centre has given the Copper Mine National Park a much-needed boost.

“My commitment is to ensure that we understand the value of this product that we have here, this environment. You hear it all the time of how beautiful these islands are, but we can never take it for granted,” he pleaded.

“This adds value to its immediate surroundings. Diamonds are not found in the earth as you wear them, somebody mines it, takes it to a factory, cleans it up, adds value to it and then you pay an amount of money for it as jewelry. That is what we need to get into our spirit, into our soul, into the core of our being. That God has blessed us with this and what we do with it ultimately determines our outcome. If we treat it well, if we enhance it, if we protect it we will continue to benefit from it.”

His remarks also came on the heels of Virgin Gorda again making it to the top of Travel and Leisure Magazine’s list for its charm.

“So Virgin Gorda being rated one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean and probably in the world is just part and parcel of what we have inherited but what we do with our inheritance will determine not only our history but whether we are a success or whether are a failure.”   

Milestone for Trust & VG

Chairperson of the National Parks Trust Miss Ayana S. Hull said the opening of the Centre is a continuation of the celebration that began in December 22, 2016 when the Sage Mountain Visitor Centre was commissioned.

She described it as another milestone in the history of the Trust and also in the history of the island of Virgin Gorda.

“The Copper Mine ruins stand as a testament to a bygone era of vision, industry, and opportunity. It has always held immense, iconic presence and historical value and although it was abandoned in the 19th century, since 2003 it has only multiplied in its value for its protected status of a national park of historical and cultural import,” she said.

According to Ms Hull, the Copper Mines for the territory holds many nostalgic memories for the people of the Virgin Islands.

Refreshing view into the past

“Today it offers a wealth of opportunities for us of another kind. It offers a refreshing view into the nostalgic past, a celebrated legacy for our future, rare and enduring physical beauty and a now hard to find new visitor experience to these beautiful Virgin Islands. These are fundamental factors for us that make high-quality tourism and serve to add a supremely rich layer to our territory’s tourism product.”

Hull also went as far as describing the Visitor Centre as the “crown jewel in the set of visitor centres that we have opened and will continue to open.”

Ninth District Representative Dr The Hon Hubert O’Neal stated his pleasure for the new facility, saying it will serve well for the people.

“Virgin Gorda being the gem of the Virgin Islands, we have a lot to offer here and during my tenure, as your Representative I am going to continue to enhance Virgin Gorda and make it the great island of the Caribbean,” he vowed.


Funding for the programme was provided by the 9th European Development Fund (EDF). The Trust was assisted by the EU delegation in Jamaica headed by Mrs Marlene Lamonth.

Designs of the centre were undertaken by Thor Downing of Downing Ltd and his team, while actual construction was done by Tarris Hill Associates Ltd, Led by Zane Potter and his team.

According to the Trust, the vision for the Copper Mine Visitor Centre began in the 1990’s when the Copper Mine Restoration Committee and the National Parks Trust partnered together to preserve the historic ruins even before it officially became a park.

The centre offers restroom facilities, local artistry, interpretive displays and very soon, official Tour Guides, and an area for the sale of refreshments and souvenirs, a set of walking trails that will be established between the numerous mine shafts in the hills above the centre, for the added enjoyment of those who visit the park.

It was also announced by the National Parks Trust that the Anegada Visitor Centre will be opened in March.

18 Responses to “‘Treat your inheritance well’- Hon Pickering as Copper Mine Visitor Center opens”

  • ndp (27/01/2017, 19:12) Like (3) Dislike (26) Reply
    well done Kedrick and Ayana
  • Mr. P (27/01/2017, 19:21) Like (2) Dislike (5) Reply
    For certain Dr. Pickering is not politics as usual.
  • thank god (28/01/2017, 00:48) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    He is not talking about the Rockefellers again.
  • thank god (28/01/2017, 01:15) Like (13) Dislike (3) Reply

    He is not crooning and salivating all over himself about the Rockefellers again. And look see his other friend - that lame duck governor in the background. Soon ready to head-out without making any significant impact in the VI - to some undisclosed retirement location and collect his comfortable pension from his gueen like the last commissioner of police they sent here to our shores.

    Let's see who they sent next. We should have a vetting process in who we want here as a queen's representative.

    Vetted by the People of the Virgin Islands. Now put that in our revised Constitution and have him take that message back to his queen.

  • vg youth (28/01/2017, 04:59) Like (3) Dislike (13) Reply
    Home sweet home....beautiful VG. God bless the BVI
  • Hmmm (28/01/2017, 06:28) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    Its so funny to me.....while the visitor centre is a needed addition to the site. what is being done to stabilize and properly restore the Copper Mine? If left, it will soon be a pile of rubble!
    • talk (28/01/2017, 09:40) Like (3) Dislike (3) Reply
      You all only talk. Things take money. The steps are being taken so be encouraged and encourage positively.
  • Roger Burnett (28/01/2017, 07:03) Like (15) Dislike (13) Reply
    It seems that the territory is currently having a rash of visitor centers, e.g. Sage Mountain and the Copper Mine.

    Without demeaning the good intentions of others, I have my reservations about making the wild accessible to all. While it is good that the territory’s inheritance is being cared for, “enhancement” can all too easily lead to taming and beautification. The Copper Mine can do without “paraphernalia”.

    Lines from Sheila Hyndman's prophetic poem, “To Virgin Gorda” are relevant:

    They will come
    With tools and machines.

    They will bring to light your secret places
    They will demand your mysteries
    They will destroy,
    Build up.
    They will dilute your treasures,
    And rob you of your chastity.
    They will adorn you like ancient Jezebel.
    • Roger (28/01/2017, 08:57) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
      Your point is taken. The visitor centres were an EU funded project for three of them. Sage Mountain, Copper Mine and Anegada Rock Iguana Facility which is the next centre to be opened. I believe we need to develop our historical sites and allow them to take care of their own maintenance as is done in other countries. In everything there is a balance so we have to monitor against over development but we cannot encourage under enhancement or development either.
    • dog (28/01/2017, 10:16) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
      I agree. I worry about the commercialization of historical sites because it diminishes the authenticity. If centres are needed, can they be situated better where they are not as prominent or distracting? Yet another development taking away from the context of site? The same for Sage Mountain. We don't necessarily need a big building to sell t-shirts.
      That also goes for Main Street. get students to research and write guide pamphlets for visitors. Get plaques on buildings and save the wooden ones. There is more educational value in a natural setting. Now we have to stabilize the ruins before they are lost. that also goes for Brewer's Bay and ruins in each and every community.
  • Concerned (28/01/2017, 07:18) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Come on Dr. Pickering. If you can get this done and bath in the glory, why can't the clinic be finished, the greenhouses be finished, the roads fixed etc. First things first!!!!
    • @Concerned (28/01/2017, 08:41) Like (5) Dislike (12) Reply
      These visitor centres were not funded by the BVI. They qualified for European Union funding because they are protected areas that the world has recognized should get some attention. The EU will not build our roads and our clinics for us. I agree that the Green houses should be put to work immediately though.
  • waste (28/01/2017, 09:06) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    Pickering is a waste of time. Waiting patiently for his permanent retirement from the public eye.
  • ta ta (28/01/2017, 09:23) Like (1) Dislike (11) Reply
    I like dr pickeing he does the hard work unlike funny man who is trager camera happy
  • John (28/01/2017, 13:07) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Oh that red dress
  • Yes (28/01/2017, 19:28) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    fraser was fraid to get box down?
  • Afu (29/01/2017, 21:45) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Baloney! Such a WASTE OF MONEY!!!. Do something WORTHWHILE instead.
  • WTF (30/01/2017, 14:28) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    There won't be any inheritance to protect after NDP give away our beaches and islands to their rich friends.

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