Origin of the Willie Redhead Foundation
For some time now, St. George’s has been recognized, regionally as well as locally, as a historic city of some significance with particular reference to its considerable architectural heritage. Amounting to more than just a handful of historic buildings as is the case in some Caribbean cities, this overall urban quality has been sufficiently evident to have earned recognition by the Organisation of American States, when in 1988, St. George’s was nominated by that body as “a Monument of the Wider Caribbean”.
The St. George’s Development Plan Final Draft of 1991, prepared by the Physical Planning Unit in the Ministry of Finance, effectively describes the situation when it says: “In fact the whole of St. George’s town can be considered as an urban unit which seldom is disturbed by buildings with an unusual scale, proportions or materials …; Apart from conserving the buildings of prime significance ….., it is also important that new structures are compatible with the existing structures.” All this is testimony to the real and growing awareness of Grenadians and others, of the city’s aesthetic heritage and concern for its preservation.
The Willie Redhead Foundation for the Preservation and Urban Renewal of St. George’s is a NOT FOR PROFIT, charitable, Non-Governmental, Organsition, and was conceived as a vehicle for protecting this heritage. Including among the objects for which the Foundation is established are the following: –
1. To encourage the preservation of the Town of St. George’s as a Caribbean historic townsite having regard to the layout of its streets and its architecturally interesting ancient buildings.
2. To raise funds from the public and from institutions, both within the state and elsewhere, for use by the Foundation in furthering its objectives.
3. To sponsor programmes to provide funds for scientific investigations into the cause of accelerated deterioration of its ancient buildings or in any other wise adversely affect efforts to preserve the architectural integrity of the town while providing for a level of urban renewal which is not inconsistent with the objects of the Foundation.
4. To provide funds for public education on matters in furtherance of the objectives of the Foundation.
5. To print and publish any newspapers, periodicals, books, posters or leaflets that the Foundation may think desirable for the promotion of its objects.
6. To accept any gift of property whether subject to any special trust or not, for any one or more of the objects of the Foundation.
Willie Redhead, whose name the Foundation bears, is a Grenadian of revered memory who distinguished himself by the manner in which he held up before his countrymen constant reminders of their responsibility in supporting and encouraging the preservation of historic St. George’s, and of the pride and great benefit to Grenada such a constructive approach would have; and he did so in his regular newspaper column over many a decade, speaking in public, in like vein, whenever the opportunity presented itself. He also wrote a book about it called “A City on a Hill.”
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