The Montserrat National Trust (MNT), which is dedicated to the preservation of the island’s natural and historic heritage, will celebrate its 50th birthday on February 1, 2020.
The Montserrat National Trust was formed on February 1, 1970 by a group of people interested in the preservation of places, items and documents of historic and architectural interest and the natural beauty of Montserrat. Established under the Montserrat National Trust Ordinance of 1970, the Trust is the only Non-Government Organisation (NGO) in Montserrat dedicated to the conservation and protection of the environment and the preservation of Montserrat’s natural and historic sites. The mission of the Trust is to Preserve the past, Protect the present and Enrich the future of Montserrat’s heritage.
According to Executive Director Mrs. Sarita Francis OBE, the Trust will be hosting activities over the coming year to thank the community for their support and to encourage more participation with their mandate to preserve the past, conserve and protect Montserrat’s environment.
The Trust will be in the Media Spotlight on Monday, February 1, its Annual General Meeting to elect a new Council will be held on February 25, and during the St. Patrick’s Festival, they will host a two-day Flower Show and Fundraiser March 13 – 14.
The Montserrat Museum operated by the Trust for over 40 years ago years and which is now under the curatorship of Dr Clarice Barnes, will also have a number of activities for St Patrick’s Celebrations and the 50th Anniversary.
Later in the year, a booklet chronicling the history of the MNT will be released. Other activities to be confirmed include visits to the local schools and college and a public lecture.
The National Trust Complex in Olveston was purchased by a Wheeler Bequest after the volcanic evacuation from Plymouth. It houses the main office and gift shop as well as a Resource Library and Archive, a Natural History Centre that is opened daily to visitors and locals. Information on the environment, culture, and history of Montserrat can be obtained through publications, documents, videos, and photographs. The Natural History Centre is used for conferences and mounts displays of flora, fauna and exhibits on the natural and cultural history of the island from the time of Amerindian occupation to present day. The Trust’s Botanic Gardens and Nursery are popular with locals and visitors. Endemic and local plant information on Montserrat is always available to students, researchers, scientists, members of the Trust, the public and visitors to Montserrat.
The Trust is managed by an Executive Director and seven other staff members and is overseen by an Executive Council. It relies on Member Volunteers who work with the Committees of the Trust to achieve its mandate. It receives some funding from Government of Montserrat, projects, grants, donations and memberships fees. The Trust is always looking for volunteers to assist with its work.