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Old Harbour to celebrate “Emancipendence” at Colbeck Castle August 6

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Colbeck Castle Colbeck Castle Photo: File

In an effort to continue its promotion stakeholders of the Colbeck Castle Heritage Park & Gardens project will be hosting “Emancipendence” – a family and food festival – on Independence Day.

The event will showcase a wide array of local cuisines as well as provide entertainment through several national and community-based acts.

“The Colbeck Castle Heritage Park & Gardens development project continues to make small strides towards achieving a monumental task of creating Old Harbour's first publicly accessible "edutainament" park,” Randy Finnikin stated.

Since the project was launched early this year after securing the rights to manage the centuries old heritage site, stakeholder groups led by the Old Harbour Development Area Committee (OHDAC) have been working assiduously towards realizing a dream that will transform this semi-urban town.

Laying the foundations of the project has been very, very challenging, however.

“Since Labour Day (May 2015) we continue to appeal locally, nationally and to the Diaspora with very little success to date, nonetheless with goodwill, and credit from a few Old Harbour businesses we continue to build,” said Finnikin, who is chairman of the OHDAC.

“We recently completed the widening of the roadway leading to the park, it includes cleaning and removal of debris from the vicinity of the bridge on the Colbeck main road to the entrance of the park approximately 400 meters, creating a grand entrance effect, and clearing and widening the approximately half-mile road leading to the park to between 25 to 30 feet to communicate to all that Colbeck is open for business.”

Financial and other contributions towards the Labour Day activities, he said, came from Bruce Donaldson and family of Old Harbour Estates, Rev Saunderson and family, Sunbeam Children's Home, Spring Village Development Foundation, Colbeck Citizens Association, The Colbeck Castle Heritage Park & Gardens Management Committee, Old Harbour Heart VTC, OHDAC and a host of individuals.

While the project is open for investment no investor has come forward to date, Finnikin noted. But the committee has decided to utilize the services of the experienced Colin McDonald who will operate as chief executive officer (CEO) of the project. McDonald, a member of the management committee, is tasked with seeking investors to raise capital for the project from which he will be paid an agreed sum.

In the meantime, Finnikin said the committee will be implementing a community share ownership plan (CSOP), “a local funding vehicle”, where individuals or groups can invest in the start-up of the park.

“They can invest in park furniture ($6,000 - $25,000) Gazebos, ($50,000 - $150,000) restrooms, plants, jogging trail, lawn care equipment etc. For park furnishings persons, families/entities will have their names inscribed to mark their investment in the park,” he explained.

He said the committee intends to make the "Emancipendence" Family & Food Fest an annual affair.

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