The launch of the Change of the Sentry at the Garrison last month was yet another contributing component to the Ministry of Tourism’s focus on heritage tourism.
Following the induction of the Garrison Historic Area as a UNESCO World Heritage Site last June, increased emphasis has been placed on preserving this country’s heritage for both Barbadians and visitors to these shores.
In a recent interview with the Government Information Service, Tourism Development Officer, Selma Thompson, spoke about the Ministry’s dedication to further developing the cultural niche of the tourism product.
"The Ministry of Tourism is involved in the business of product development…We are always on the lookout for meaningful initiatives that show potential to be developed into sustainable tourism products …When the re-enactment of the Change of the Sentry was proposed, we saw that it was a meaningful activity that could be developed further, and so we offered technical advice; we supported the [Barbados Garrison Historical] Consortium along the way and we provided some financial support as well," she revealed.?? Mrs. Thompson also encouraged both individuals and non-governmental organisations to share suitable ideas with the Ministry.
Heritage Consultant with the Consortium, Peter Stevens, explained that the development of the area into a viable historical attraction depended on ensuring "that we take into account everybody that lives, works and plays at the Garrison, [and] that all of the interests are taken into account.?? The only way to produce what we are attempting to produce, which is a world renowned heritage site that has a huge attraction draw internationally, is that everybody at the Garrison understands and works towards that," he offered, while reinforcing that the growth of the area was for the benefit of both Barbadians and tourists alike.
The Consortium also plans to develop the recently re-discovered underground tunnels at the Garrison and reintroduce trams to transport persons throughout the area.
Lead drummer in the drum corps of the Barbados Legion – which directs the sentries during their change – Michael Stewart, expressed great pride in being a part of the military exercise.?? He encouraged persons to see the Legion, which comprises retired Barbados Defence Force soldiers, perform the sentry change.
"[I would like] for all of Barbados to come and see and support us and see what the Garrison Historical Consortium is doing and the Ministry of Tourism. I think it’s a wonderful idea. I have never seen the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, even though I’ve been to Britain.?? So being a part of this Change of the Sentry here in Barbados means a lot to me. I am proud and I think that any Bajan who comes to see it would also be proud," he said.
The Change of the Sentry takes place every Wednesday at the Main Guard, the Garrison, between 11:45 a.m. and noon.??
For the full interview on the Change of the Sentry, visit the Media page at http://www.gisbarbados.gov.bb/ from Tuesday, February 7.