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Fire guts cultural centre named after priest*

Photo: Lyndell Gordon, www.thevoicesslu.com

ST LUCIA 

The St Lucia Fire Service has launched an investigation into the cause of a fire that completely destroyed The Msgr Patrick Anthony Folk Research Centre (FRC), a repository which houses the most extensive collection of St Lucia’s cultural artifacts and history.

St Lucia News Online reported that emergency officials received the report Sunday, March 25 and units from Gros Islet and Castries were dispatched.

The building, located on Calvary Road, Castries was found partially engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived and despite their efforts nothing was salvaged.

“There were no report of loss of life or injuries. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.”

Established in 1973, the FRC is a repository for cultural heritage, a vehicle for research, study, recording and promulgating St Lucian’s rich heritage. It houses an extensive library of publications, audio-visual recordings and photographs and is the major study centre for work carried out into St Lucia’s folk culture by both nationals and visiting researchers and students.

Last August, the local cultural community paid tribute to its cultural hero Msgr Patrick ‘Paba’ Anthony, founder of FRC by renaming it in his honour (See https://catholicnewstt.com/index.php/2017/08/25/culture-centre-renamed-priest/) The St Lucian priest work has transformed the island’s cultural and religious landscape for more than 40 years.