Gems from the Archives –20 UBA

Our item today is the earliest surviving police report of a public meeting held by the Universal Benevolent Association or as it was called by its members, The Union. In 1916, in the middle of the First World War and in the face of low wages and attempts to limit emigration to Cuba and the Dominican Republic, Joseph Nathan organized a petition requesting uniform wages for agricultural workers and the regulation by government in setting […]

Gems from the Archives – 19 “Stipendiary Magistrate”

  Today we offer a reflection on motherhood from a time that we hope nobody will ever have to experience again   Justice Room Cayon 25th November 1836 George T Fraser, Manager of Cunningham Estate complains Peggy P A [predial apprentice] on said estate and being sworn states that Defendant is continually in the sick house two weeks out of every month – alternately with herself and child.  She has a mother on the estate perfectly capable […]

Gems from the Archives –18 “demonstration”

We are coming up to the weekend before Labour Day.  The first Labour Day celebrations commemorated the workers’ demonstrations in 1886 in Chicago.  They were demanding an 8 hour day.  It became recognized as an annual event by the Second Socialist International held in Paris in  1869.  In St. Kitts, the Trades and Labour Union and the Workers League first celebrated the event in 1955 and the Union Messenger described it as “a moderate success.” […]

Gems from the Archives –17 “equipment for New River”

Our item today was chosen because it shows an entrepreneur trying to save his business and the difficulties he faced.  The story that goes with the document high lights the need for careful research and planning and how decisions made on impulse often lead to poor results.   Here is some of the background to document. For some years Nevis had been dealing with cotton crop failures.  At its general meeting of the 10 March  1939, […]

Gems from the Archives –16 “Aquatic Sports 1968”

The aquatic sport events on Easter Monday became synonymous with the 4-H organization that was initiated in St. Kitts by Basil Henderson.  They consist  of a number of swimming races.  Once there was also a sail boat race and the organisers even tried to include a speed boat race.  The event that everybody looks forward to is the “greasy pole”.  At the end of a well greased pole leaning over the sea, a ham is […]