St. Christopher, the first Caribbean island to be permanently settled by both the English and the French (who shared the island between 1627 and 1713 ), was a model and a springboard for English and French colonialism in the Caribbean and elsewhere.

Defence Force Band Sunset Recital 2011 and firing of brick oven at Artillery Officers Quarters

Wednesday 5 October 2011

After the exertions and excitement of the Brimstone Hill Fit and Fearless Run on Saturday 24th September, music lovers were treated to a much more relaxing outing the following Sunday 25th September. Beginning at 4pm on a beautiful Sunday evening the band led my Captain Nigel Williams treated and thrilled the crowd with a wide selection of instrumental numbers. The items played covered genres from military marches to contemporary pop tunes and the obvious appreciation shown by the audience to the musicianship displayed by the band was heartwarming.

For the first time at the Sunset Recital, an annual event organized jointly by the Brimstone Hill Society and the St. Kitts-Nevis Defence Force to commemorate our Independence, the children's and adults beginners classes of the Defence Force Band were featured. The Brimstone Hill Society wishes to thank Capt. Williams, the band members and all those who turned out for a truly beautiful evening.

Sunday 25th September was also a historic date for another very special reason. Several months ago the Brimstone Hill Society restored the brick oven in the Cookhouse at the Artillery Officers Quarters, and conservation work is ongoing on the interior of the Cookhouse itself. On the afternoon of Sunday 25th unknown to the crowd being regaled by the Defence Force Band, the oven was being fired again for the first time since the garrison was withdrawn from Brimstone Hill Fortress in 1853. After the music ended, VIP guests experienced a second treat, patties and traditional Kittitian "dollar bread" baked in the 18th century brick oven once used to prepare baked goods for the officers commanding artillery forces at Brimstone Hill. The Society wishes to thank baker Joe Gumbs of Old Road for providing his skills to this historic event.

This surprise had been planned by management to launch the restored Artillery Officers oven. It is the intention of the Brimstone Hill Society to have the oven fully operational at some point during the 2011-12 Tourist Season so that its operation and the role of the enslaved African bakers on the fortress can be more fully interpreted to visitors.

Cameron Gill
General Manager
Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park Society

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