“A people without knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots” – Marcus Garvey
There are so many different stories or versions of events that took place in TCI. Some are based on memories, some are based on opinions and some are politically motivated. Sometimes, these inaccurate stories become the truth for so many and then are passed on from generation to generation.
I believe it is imperative that we document and record accurately the events and history of our country.
Why is History and Actual Facts Important?
Perhaps there may be many who may think it is not necessary to record and document historical events as these events are of the past. However, there is nothing new under the sun.
By knowing our history, hopefully we will be inspire to continue what our forefathers did or did not do. We can also learn from our history by not repeating some of the mistakes that were made in the past. Our history will reveal that it is possible to challenge the status quo. Our History may allow us to show appreciation to others including our own and outsiders. For instance, it is well known that Haiti, the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic played a very important part of our history. Ironically, today TCI is the home of many immigrants from Haiti, Bahamas and D.R. and of course many other countries. Who knows where Turks and Caicos Islanders will have to migrate to in the future?
Some Information that needs Clarity
I honestly believe that if we thoroughly do our research accurately we can provide clarity on a lot of misinformation of events in our country.
There are so many different versions of how the 1976 constitution came about.
There are even different sizes for Grand Turk. When I was growing up, we learned that Grand Turk was 7 ½ square miles. Now a local book is in publication stating that that Grand Turk is 10 ½ square miles. Were we taught the wrong thing?
Some of our children are being taught that Turks and Caicos was a colony of the Bahamas and then a colony of Jamaica. Were we really a colony of another colony?
For the past couple of years, our country started the National Honours and Awards program and some recipients were honoured as being the first in this and first in that when some of the information is not correct.
There is the issue of Salt Cay Candies and this is not to offend anyone. I never heard about Salt Cay Candies until I moved to Provo in 1991 and I was excited to see what people were talking about and was surprised that they were the same candies that my mother and other ladies made in South Caicos. They were never called Salt Candies in South Caicos but today the locally homemade candies are being promoted and called Salt Cay Candies.
I know that the Museum perhaps has a lot of historical information on the Turks and Caicos. However, I am recommending that the Government establishes a Department of Archives or a Department of Record Keeping using well thorough research information whether through minutes, interviews or other documentation.
Develop a website of all information and do a daily synopsis of our historical events on the website and social media.
A lot of facts are sometimes deliberately misrepresented. However, if we were to document all information with supporting evidence, the truth can be known and appreciated.
As the country prepares for the upcoming election in 2020 or 2021, there will be a lot of misinformation and credit for projects and events. Know the truth and the truth will set you free.