After being closed for some three years, the Old Government House Museum is finally open to the public.
The Museum was officially opened on December 9, with an official ceremony attended by Governor Augustus Jaspert, government minister Vincent Wheatley and other members of the public.
However, only the ground floor of the museum is open as the rooms on the top floor are still being repaired.
Built in 1880 & then again in 1926, the building was closed as a residence in 1996. As a museum, it holds artefacts, writings, and furniture that give insight into the BVI’s social and political history.
After the building was destroyed by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, officials entertained the idea of permanently closing the building. However, due to money received from fundraisers, private and public donors and the help of local volunteers, the government was able to proceed with a rebuilding project for the historical site.
Earlier in March, Governor Augustus Jaspert signed a contract valued more than $65,000 with a local construction company to begin Phase 1 of the repairs to the Old Government House Museum.
The $65,710.80 contract covered the repair of the dining room, front room and an exhibition room which contains historic records and items.
“It’s a place I hope will be a place of sanctuary … I hope people can come not just for the history, not just for the story behind the house but also the beautiful gardens as well,” Governor Jaspert said at the reopening ceremony this week.
Back in March, Governor Jaspert said the response from residents and local businesses in raising funds for the restoration of the historic museum has been tremendous over the years.
“Almost exactly a year ago, the Board of Old Government House hosted a fundraising Gala and Auction to raise funds to restore the house and gardens. Local businesses were very generous in supporting the event and the local community responded enthusiastically, raising over $77,000. Since then, generous anonymous donors have added to the appeal,” Governor Jaspert added.
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