Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 31, 2022 (SKNIS): Prime Minister Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris, on the 50th anniversary of the MV Christena disaster at a special sitting of the Nevis Island Administration (NIA), made the announcement that it was fitting to erect a suitable memorial in Basseterre, similar to the memorial in Charlestown, Nevis, in recognition of those who had lost their lives in the tragic disaster of August 1, 1970.
“I want to pledge further that my government will, before the next commemorative event, next year, properly establish an appropriate memorial, in honour of the memory of those who perished,” Prime Minister Harris said at the special sitting of the NIA in 2020.
Mr. Calvin Pemberton was tasked with undertaking the project, plans were put in place and discussions were held with survivors of the disaster, the management team of the Heritage Society and the Urban Development Corporation. The site chosen was deemed most appropriate, having regard to historical factors and the construction of the monument began. However, the completion of the monument was curtailed because of the COVID-19 pandemic that interfered with labour and the sourcing of materials for the project. Commendations and gratitude are extended to those workers who executed the project.
Prime Minister Harris and his Cabinet respect and honour the memory of those who perished in the disaster and offer condolences to the families who are still mourning the loss of their loved ones.
The MV Christena disaster is the single greatest catastrophe to have occurred in St. Kitts and Nevis. On August 1, 1970, the MV Christena sank in the Narrows between the islands of St. Kitts and Nevis after encountering difficulty. 233 persons died and 90 survived.
The Christena monument is completed but will be commissioned at a later date.