Sat | Sep 22, 2018

Paulwell birthday bash spoiled museum tour

Published:Tuesday | January 19, 2016 | 12:00 AM


This is an open letter to Member of Parliament Phillip Paulwell.

Dear MP Paulwell,

Happy birthday month. I only knew that you were born in January because, two weekends ago, I attempted to take a group of students to the Fort Charles Museum at Port Royal, about 2:45 in the afternoon, and it was closed in preparation for your birthday bash.

I had called, just the day before, to confirm rates and to ask if I needed a reservation for a group as large as 20 to tour the site. I was told nothing of your birthday party.

The young man in the Heritage Trust T-shirt looked forlorn as I told him this. Or maybe he looked helpless? When he explained that the museum was closed to facilitate the preparation for your orange-and-white bashment, he suggested that I speak to your friend and party planner.

On the way to Port Royal, there was garbage gathered along the roadways like small and medium piles of witnesses. I confess that I was embarrassed and offended by this, perhaps because I was with a busload of visitors. I felt the same response to your party planner. He seemed to not see the contrast between the extravagant decorations for your soirÈe and your poorly, dusty constituency.

He did not even want to consider the piracy of a heritage site of importance to four other women waiting in the sun for a taxi, the couple with diplomatic plates, my busload of 19 students all turned away, and maybe even the silenced National Heritage Trust worker.

I allude to the plunder of pirates, but that is an unfair parallel. The pirates of the 16th and 17th century did not pretend to have anyone's interest at heart - except perhaps their own and those whom they served. How does being member of parliament for East Kingston entitle you to personal use of the heritage it contains?