The event was held on Thursday, May 21, 2015 at the FortisTCI headquarters on Leeward Highway, and began with a bit of background into the annual FortisTCI calendar, first published in 2009. “A lot of effort goes into the calendar each year,” said Allan Robinson, FortisTCI Vice President of Customer & Corporate Services. He continued, “We always seek to provide quality content that the community and our stakeholders can enjoy. If someone doesn’t learn something new about our beautiful Turks and Caicos Islands, then we would have missed our mark. This year, it was exciting to bring the calendar to life by holding this educational and memorable event.”
The first speaker, Mr. Soderqvist from Provident Limited, is known as a long time developer on the island of Providenciales (Provo). He shared with students his experiences and recollection of what the island was like in 1966 when he first arrived. He shared from memory and in detail, the development of electricity on Provo. His presentation outlined the transition from oil lamps, to individual generators, to a single shared generator, before the first energy utility company was formed on Provo.
Next, Provo branch manager for the Turks and Caicos National Museum, Mrs. Williams explained to students how museums help to preserve history by piecing together stories through various clues found on land and at sea. She talked about how important artifacts and recorded accounts are in the retelling of history. She also discussed the museum's mission, which is: “To collect and preserve the cultural and natural history of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Thereafter, Mr. Butterfield Jr., son of Mr. Albray Butterfield and the late Hon. Rosita Butterfield shared the story of his family’s venture into the grocery store business. The Butterfield Family is featured in the calendar during the month of December, having had the first locally owned supermarket on Provo. He talked about how several of the family’s entrepreneurial ventures spawned from a need the family or community had at that time.
Finally, in light of National Heroes Day, named in honour of his father, Mr. McCartney concluded the event with an inspiring presentation about James Alexander George Smith, known to many as JAGS. JAGS served as the first Chief Minister of the Turks and Caicos Islands at the young age of 31, and he notably carried a message of hope and unity for all in the Turks and Caicos Islands. In the end, it is said that his work, love of his Country and people, helped to grow his beloved homeland.
At the conclusion of the event, and before approaching one of the guest speakers, an attending student said, “I know the speeches are finished, but I really want to know more. May I ask them a few questions?” Students undoubtedly left having learned something new and were encouraged to play their part in history by digging deeper to learn of the past. It was evident that the sharing of stories and retelling of history is important to the future.
FortisTCI wishes to extend sincere gratitude to all that made the event possible. This includes: the Department of Education, principals, teachers, and students from across Povo, Dr. Carlton Mills, Dr. Dion Lightbourne, and the guest speakers of the day, Mr. Soderqvist, Mrs. Williams, Mr. Butterfield Jr., and Mr. McCartney. Footage from the event will be made available online at www.fortistci.com.
Notes to Editors:
2) Fortis Inc. is a leader in the North American electric and gas utility business, with total assets of approximately $28 billion and fiscal 2014 revenue of $5.4 billion. Its regulated utilities account for approximately 93% of total assets and serve more than 3 million customers across Canada and in the United States and the Caribbean. Fortis owns non-regulated hydroelectric generation assets in Canada, Belize and Upstate New York. The Corporation’s non-utility investment is comprised of hotels and commercial real estate in Canada. For more information, visit www.fortisinc.com or www.sedar.com
VP, Customer & Corporate Services
Tel: 649-946-4313 Ext. 2507