What is the purpose of the Lohkay monument?

What is the purpose of the of the One Tété Lohkay monument at the Cay Hill/Belair roundabout?

When the Directorate of Programs & Projects gathers Thursday, December 10, at the A.C. Wathey Legislative Hall to discuss the Multi-Annual Policy Monument Plan 2009, this may be among the many questions that will arise, said Shujah Reiph.


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It appears that the preservation and protection of monuments will be at the center of the Thursday meeting. "Historically monuments are built or preserved to commemorate important persons or events, they usually help improve or uplift the area where they are located," said Reiph, president of the Conscious Lyrics Foundation (CLF).

On his popular CLF radio program Reiph recently decried the dilapidated condition that the Lohkay roundabout and monument were in for the past two years.

The subsequent quick clean-up of the roundabout "by one of our island’s youth groups, and now this meeting, are good signs that have to bear more fruit in concrete and long-term systematic ways," said Reiph.

"It is time for government to take a stand on the future of all monuments and historical sites," said Reiph.

The present condition of many of our monuments and historical sites do not reflect the St. Martin core cultural values. "The people of St. Martin love their ancestors and are very proud about uplifting their history," said Reiph.

"In every St. Martin home one can find a picture or artifacts of our forefathers and foremothers who we are very proud of," said Reiph.

"One of the jobs of our government is to reflect that home pride in the public domain," said Reiph.

Ever since the One Tété Lohkay story was published in the book National Symbols of St. Martin (1996), the people of St. Martin have embraced this legendary heroine who stands for individual liberty, collective pride, and the fight for rights from the unholy days of slavery to now, said Reiph.

Lohkay has been a point of discussion in St. Martin homes, cultural and artistic productions, research at academic level, and the placement of a statue representing her at the roundabout.

"Government should work with the active organizations and individuals who have been in the forefront of researching accurately, sharing the knowledge with the nation, and preserving and developing features of the St. Martin cultural, historical and environmental monuments," said Reiph.