(St. Christopher National Trust) October 23, 2018: The history of trade and money in St. Kitts is the focus of a new exhibition at the National Museum, that opened on Tuesday October 23rd. His Excellency the Governor General Sir S.W. Tapley Seaton – the Trust’s patron – the Deputy Prime Minister the Honourable Shawn Richards and the Governor of the Central Bank Timothy Antoine were among the dignitaries who attended the brief opening ceremony held inside the museum on Tuesday morning.
A joint initiative between the St. Christopher National Trust and the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, the History of Commerce and Banking Exhibition explores the marked shift in the island’s economy following Emancipation.
Prior to Emancipation most trade in St. Kitts was conducted directly with England, with sugar being used as the main form of exchange. After 1834 however, the former enslaved people had to be paid wages in cash. This ushered in a money economy which saw an increase in both the volume of imports and the number of retail business.
The new exhibition features trade-related artifacts and documents and a number of coin collections. The National Trust Collection is a collection of coins that were used in the territory before Emancipation, up to the turn of the century. There are also collections of Eastern Caribbean currency before and after the formation of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union.
The exhibition also highlights some of the businesses that were founded in the 19th century that are still in operation in some form today.
The History of Commerce and Banking Exhibition runs until Friday November 30th. The National Museum is open Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
About the St. Christopher National Trust
Tasked with preserving and promoting the natural, historical, ecological and cultural heritage of the island of St. Kitts, the St. Christopher National Trust has been working tirelessly to this end for nearly 30 years.
Founded in 1989 as the St. Christopher Heritage Society, the organization became the St. Christopher National Trust through an Act of the National Assembly in 2009. The National Trust is a non-governmental, voluntary organisation, whose objectives include fostering a deeper understanding of and appreciation for the island, promoting our heritage and safeguarding and preserving our natural environment, traditions and customs, music, visual and performing arts and of course, our monuments and historic buildings and sites.
The organization also manages the National Museum and operates a Documentation and Research Centre as well as a culture and heritage-focused Gift Shop.