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Young minds stimulated at Heritage Museum and Science Centre

Young minds stimulated at Heritage Museum  and Science Centre

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With stimulation provided by the Heritage Museum and Science Centre, young minds in St Vincent and the Grenadines have taken a bright interest in the heritage of this country.{{more}}

When SEARCHLIGHT visited the museum on July 4, students from the Lauders Primary School were already halfway through their tour of the establishment.

Their fascination was evident as the group did not pass up the opportunity to touch a live baby snake, which was brought in especially for the occasion.

Some students even voiced their opinion that the reptile was not as slimy as they had believed it would be.

Curator Lystra Culzac-Wilson informed the students that St Vincent is home to three types of snakes, which are all beneficial to wild life, as they ward off rats that can spread leptospirosis and crickets that damage crops.

“These animals that are here, you know when you see them, you don’t have to kill them,” Culzac-Wilson told the group of students.

“None of the snakes in St Vincent are poisonous”.

The museum, which places emphasis on artefacts from all ages, continues to grow and make changes to accommodate visitors’ thirst for knowledge.

In addition to their exciting displays that date as far back as the 1700s, a craft shop and science centre, other larger-than-life displays have made the museum their home.

“We’ve had a good bit of donations,” the curator told SEARCHLIGHT.

Included among these donations, is an 8-track, a dial (rotary) telephone, an alarm clock with a pendulum and clay pottery with actual Arawak roots.

For those interested in old traditions, one part of the garden now sports a display which includes a saw pit, which is a manual machine that was used to cut logs.

“The saw itself is called a pit saw and the machinery around it is called a saw pit,” Culzac-Wilson explained.

“In the field, they would normally have it against like a mountainside, so they would dig out a pit to allow the man to go on top”.

The children were intrigued by the contraption, asking question after question, as the animated curator demonstrated how the machine worked.

Catering to various interests, an organic garden can also be found at the Heritage Museum and Science Centre.

“As part of the thrust to biodiversity and conservation, we have decided that the grounds will be organically kept,” Culzac-Wilson revealed.

“We will not be using any manmade pesticides like gramoxone.”

While a section is dedicated to organically growing crops like sweet peppers, another section is kept wild for nature’s animals.

Students were delighted to know that some snakes even live in the wild garden. One student pointed out the remains of a snake being eaten by ants.

“I’ve had people come here and say ‘oh it’s been a while since I’ve seen so many butterflies in one place’. Some people keep their yards so neatly cut, the weeds don’t get to grow through and flower. Pesticides again kill these creatures in their cocoon state,” the curator said.

Although it is not mandatory, the museum, which is located in New Montrose, obliquely opposite the Botanic Gardens exit, is now working on instituting a minimum donation.

With its diverse displays, the experience of a visit to the museum promises to be educational, fun and memorable for persons who wish to know more about their heritage or simply want to take a trip down memory lane.

The Heritage Museum and Science Centre is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. For more information, persons can contact Lystra Culzac-Wilson at 784-593-3763.

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