It is regrettable and I feel deeply saddened by the statement from the National Trust that they can no longer be responsible for the Walcott House on Chaussee Road. While this is deeply regrettable, it brings into focus the fact that the National Trust from the time that it assumed the responsibility for the Walcott House has done nothing to promote it and no attempt to secure some income from its existence. Many artistes have been looking at these premises with a sense of concern and at the abdication by the National Trust of its accepted responsibilities to take charge of the Walcott House.
In fact, such was its sense of abandonment, it is reported that the premises were closed for long periods and when it was opened, it seemed to have encouraged loiterers in the neighborhood to support its presence. Whatever the cause, I do not think for reasons too obvious and prominent to allow this situation to continue for any protracted period.
Consequently, I propose as a solution that there be a separate Trust called the Walcott Trust or, more appropriately, The Derek and Roderick Walcott Trust. The members of the Trust should be persons concerned but not exclusively with the arts. This, of course, should include representatives from the National Trust.
As an immediate relief to its opening, it is suggested that an application should be made to the Taiwanese Government, who have spent so much money to reconstruct the Walcott premises which should be in their interest to preserve. Based on their expenditure and the intended continuation of the Walcott premises, request them to support a budget for about two years to enable the Walcott Trust to find its feet and to develop a programme to use the premises as a focus of art in St. Lucia. I would hope that my comments and suggestions could be used as a basis for the reopening of the Walcott premises.