Old Friends and New

by Jessica Brody

A member of the museum stopped by to drop off the annual dues and left us with an unexpected gift! She had a couple things her husband was willing to part with: a commemorative ship’s bell and an old spy glass. The ship’s bell is probably a significant addition to the museum collections since it has the name of a ship on it, but I couldn’t keep my eyes off the spy glass. It was so cool! I’d never seen one before and it looked right out of the Mary Poppin’s movie.

I just happened to have one of the kids for the after school program nearby. I showed her the spy glass – she’d never seen one before either. I asked her to guess how old it was. “It doesn’t look so old,” she said. When I told her it was probably about 110 years old she refused to believe me.

We’ve been working hard the last couple weeks under extreme pressure to complete two grant proposals. These had to be completed on top of assembling a new display for Provo, preparing for Children’s Program and Spring 2 Collection events, and hosting 7 cruise ships through the museum.

The grants are very exciting. The first was actually a submission of the second and final round of the British Library’s Endangered Archives Project. This project would allow the museum to hire an archivist to seek out and preserve pre-1900 government records. The possibility of saving these documents is a very exciting prospect and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we are accepted!

The second proposal, submitted today, was a nomination to the American Association of State and Local History’s Leader in History Award for Where is Simon, Sandy? The publication of Simon, Sandy and its proceeds have led to the promotion of Turks and Caicos culture and history to international audiences, the acquisition of donkey-related items, and it provides funding for the Children’s Program. Certainly a project like this is worthy of recognition!

Looking at the spy-glass today reminded me of how rewarding all this work can be, not only did I get to see something new, but I got the opportunity to interpret that history for a Turk’s Islander. The look on her face reminded me why we work so hard on these projects: to interpret and celebrate Turks and Caicos history!