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NEVIS AND WORLD WAR II


During World War II the people of Nevis did not have enough flour and other essential food items. There was hardship everywhere. Yet, Nevisians and the people of St Kitts found the money to purchase two Spitfires for Britain's R.A.F. In addition, they sent some of their young men to fight in the War.


CICELY TYSON


The parents of the famous actress, Cicely Tyson, emigrated from Nevis to the United States and lived in New York. According to Donald Bogle, who studies and writes on black imagery in the media, it was Cecily Tyson who made the first breakthrough in changing the stereotypical maid's role of black women in the movies. She acted the part of a secretary in the 1963 TV series "East Side, West Side." Bogle notes: "She was just there. She wasn't carrying a tray, she wasn't a maid. For African-Americans, just seeing a black woman coming from that little tube into their living rooms, who seemed to have this strong sense of herself, that was significant."


The little spark which started Tyson's career occurred when the owner of a beauty parlor at which she was having her hair done asked her to model at a hair-style show. She agreed. Modelling eventually lead to acting lead to stardom.


Click here for a little story about Cicely Tyson


ROBERT BRADSHAW - FIRST NATIONAL HERO


When St. Kitts passed its National Honours Act in 1998, three classes of award were established: The Order of National Hero, the Star of Merit, and the Medal of Honour.


The recipient of the first award of  Order of National Hero was Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw, Premier of St. Kitts, Nevis, Anguilla. Recipients of National Honours are named on National Heroes day, 16th September. 


TURTLES ON ST. KITTS


St Kitts is very concerned about its endangered turtles. Among them are Green Turtles, Hawksbill Turtles, and Leatherback Turtles.


The Hawksbill feeds on invertebrates associated with coral reefs. The Green feeds off the sea-grass beds such as those off Majors Bay. The Leatherbacks go to the Atlantic beaches such as North Friars Bay and Sandbank Bay. The adult female returns to the beach where she was born to build her own nest in time for the May to July nesting season. 


When turtle eggs are eaten or driven over by vehicles on the beaches of St Kitts or the turtles themselves killed for their meat, oil or shells, the turtle population dwindles further. The Heritage Society of St. Kitts therefore asks that people not eat turtle eggs or turtle meat or buy turtle shell jewelry.


The lines and nets used in commercial fishing operations are another source of concern. These lines trap and drown turtles. Old fishing lines and plastic rings also entangle them.


Nesting sites are also being destroyed as hotels and houses are built on beach areas. In addition, beaches are being destroyed by sand-mining. Even artificial lights, such as those in buildings and along roads, confuse the hatchlings.


The Society asks persons to leave turtles they encounter undisturbed. It also welcomes reports of sightings of turtles. 


THE OLDEST WOODEN HOUSE


Built in 1740, The Hermitage in Nevis is believed to be the oldest surviving woden house still in use in the Caribbean today. Made of the incredibly durable lignum vitae wood, it is located in the parish of St. John, off the island's main road. It has been carefully restored and is now a hotel but its architectural features and plantation setting have been maintained. 


LOUIS FARRAKHAN


The mother of Minister Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of  Islam, was a native of St. Kitts. Her name was Mae Clark. She was said to have introduced him to the teachings of Marcus Garvey at an early age.


CARIB ATONEMENT CEREMONY


At Carifesta  7 (in the year 2000)  in St Kitts, Carib leaders held an "Atonement Ceremony", the first of its kind for Carifesta.

An official Carifesta update said: "At these atonement ceremonies, the spirits of over 2000 Caribs massacred in 1626 by British and French settlers will be finally laid to rest in the historically sacred area at Bloody Point."

Carib leaders from Belize and Surinam gathered in St Kitts for this late night (10.00 p.m.) occasion.


ALEXANDER HAMILTON - BORN IN NEVIS


Alexander Hamilton, widely regarded as Nevis' most famous son, was born in Charlestown on 11 January 1757 to James Hamilton, a Scottish trader and a French woman named Rachel Fawcett Lavine. He lived on Nevis for 5 years, after which his family moved to St. Croix.


 His childhood was one of poverty. Alexander's mother  was married to another man, John Michael Lavine, when Alexander was born. She had been thrown out of Mr. Lavine's home for adultery. When Alexander was still an infant, James Hamilton abandoned his family.


Alexander was impressive as a boy. Because of  his obvious brilliance and willingness to work, St. Croix businessman Nicholas Cruger, the owner of a countinghouse where Alexander went to work when he was eleven, joined with a minister, the Reverend Hugh Knox, to send young Hamilton to study in America.


He emigrated to New York in 1772. He became an aide to General George Washington, later President of the United States. As Treasury Secretary, he laid the base of the United States fiscal system, secured the nation's credit and increased the power of the Federal Government. He continued to be a close advisor to the President even after he returned to private life in 1795.

Hamilton was challenged to a duel by his political and personal enemy, former Vice-President Aaron Burr. On the morning of July 11, 1804, the two men met in a field at Weehawken, New Jersey. Each man fired a shot. Hamilton was mortally wounded and died the next day after hours of excruciating pain.

Hamilton's image is portrayed on the current US ten-dollar bill.


More about Alexander Hamilton


HORATIO NELSON


Because Nelson was such a famous and powerful figure, you might think that it was an easy matter for him to sweep into little Nevis and woo and win the widow Fanny Nisbet. Not so.

Nelson was not popular on the island at first. He was there to prevent trade between the newly independent American states from trading with the British colonies. To this end, he impounded four American ships and their cargoes. The enraged Nevis merchants, claiming £40,000 in losses, would have had him put in jail had he not remained on board his ship, HMS Boreas, for eight weeks.

Social acceptance came only after the arrival in Antigua of the captain of HMS Pegasus, Prince William. If, as was felt, he married the widow Fanny Nisbet in the hope of coming into her rich uncle's money, he must have been disappointed. The uncle left for London and spent his money there.



ST KITTS AND NEVIS JOTTINGS