The Minister responsible for Library Services, Honorable Josephine Connolly, visited the remains of the Victoria Library yesterday morning. The Minister had earlier expressed both her shock and sadness when she learnt of the destruction of the historic and valuable building in a statement to the media.
She recalled favorite moments at the library and how it was central to her, and indeed many others growing up in the community of Grand Turk. Hon. Connolly stated in an interview with Radio Turks and Caicos; “This morning I was very shocked and saddened to learn that our dear historic library was destroyed by fire. The Victoria Library played a very important part in the lives of many of us; we read there, did research there, met our friends there and learnt a lot there. At this time, we must now give the police and others time to do their investigations to determine the cause of this fire.”
The Victoria Public Library was a beautiful 19th century building built in 1887, the year of Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee but was not completed until 1889. It was reputed to have cost £568. The library was a historical site and a sight attraction for tourist visiting the island of Grand Turk.
The Minister took the opportunity to express her support to the staff who worked at the institution especially those who have given years and years of service at the Library. She comforted them and the public by ensuring them that all efforts will be made to restore some type of temporary service.
The Minister pledged to keep the community updated as plans progress.
She expressed thanks to those organizations who already expressed interest in conducting book drives. She urged that, the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Library Services will send out a release to guide all volunteers and donors so that donations meet the key needs of the reading public especially our children.