By Sue-Ann Wayow firstname.lastname@example.org
December 1, 2014
THE St Vincent Ferrer Society Moruga Museum was yesterday given a silver medal from Pope Francis during its first anniversary celebration at Grand Chemin, Moruga.
The museum’s founder and curator Eric Lewis, 29 received the medal from Vatican representative Archbishop Nicola Girasoli, Apostolic Nuncio to the Antilles.
Lewis also received a citation which read: ” On the occasion of the visit to the Moruga Museum, celebrating the one year anniversary, cordially thanks all those who take care of this institution ” for preserving yesterday’s stories, for today’s history. As a sign of appreciation for the section dedicated to the Catholic collection donates to the museum the official silver medal of Pope Francis.”
Receiving the items was an honour, Lewis said.
“This is absolutely amazing. This is itself is one of the greatest achievements, I was not expecting this and I think this is something that I really honour the most, ” he said.
The celebration took place on the streets of Moruga, outside the museum.
The 800 plus items on display included several statues a part of Catholic collection, books, coins, shark bones, turtle shells, jars, bottles, utensils and clothing. Some of the items dates back to the 18th century.
In his short address, Girasoli said he very impressed with Trinidad and Tobago’s culture and diversity and he said: ” Our identity needs to be protected, it needs to be respected.”
Member of Parliament for Moruga Clifton De Coteau said he was pleased with the contribution Lewis made to the area and the country at large and he hoped the government would support the museum that is privately owned and operated.
Lewis, one of the youngest museum curators in the Caribbean said he will continue to promote the museum and the country internationally.
Already the museum has attained regional status by becoming a member of the Museums Association of the Caribbean.
Lewis attended a conference in Jamaica last month and learnt that the Moruga Museum has one of the most diverse collections in the country and it also has one of the most diverse collections for the Merikin people.
It also has one of the most diverse set of collection in the Caribbean in one type of collectio,n he said.
Next year, Lewis will be representing the Moruga Museum at the MuseumNext conference in Geneva, Switzerland.
He said there were plans to develop the museum next year which included expansions, more exhibits and the creation of an Amerindian village on the compound. He will also be working with the University of the West Indies (UWI) and the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) to doing more research as well as international universities that will assist the museum in obtaining its objectives over the next five years.
Speaking about his accomplishments Lewis said: “I think it is something really great. I am one of the youngest museum founders in the Caribbean and that itself is a great accomplishment, not just for myself but also for young people. It is something to honour it was a dream. Dreams remain dreams until they become realities. For me I don’t like to remain a dreamer but I love my dreams and aspirations to come into reality and this is what has happened.”
Visitors who attended the function were entertained by live parang bands and experienced a taste of local food, “Moruga style.”
Anyone wanting to find out more information about the museum or make contributions can call 656-7161 or 320-3108.