Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): The sound of excited children at play rang out at the New Road Family Park on Monday (January 23, 2022) following a ribbon cutting and reopening ceremony for the recreational facility, closed since March 2020.
The Governor General’s Deputy Her Excellency Marcella Liburd, Prime Minister the Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew, Deputy Prime Minister the Honourable Dr. Geoffrey Hanley, the Parliamentary Representative for the area, the Honourable Marsha Henderson and other Cabinet members joined dozens of persons from the community for the eagerly anticipated reopening,
Azilla Clarke, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Social Development, noted that after its opening in January 2014, the park quickly became a popular venue as it served as a child-friendly, family-gathering and celebration space. The facility was renovated while it was closed to enhance safety and functional features while increasing enjoyment.
Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Hanley, who holds the portfolio for Social Development, said that the government remains focused on caring for people and investing in their personal and professional development.
“As our people continue to be our greatest and most prized asset for development and export. It is imperative that we provide safe spaces for children to be children as fun and play are critical in child development,” Dr. Hanley stated. “We all know that challenges abound with the raising of children. We encourage family time around the dining table, talking walks, family car rides and family excursions. Let us do things together. This space, the New Road Family Park, is again, one such space where families can be together.”
The Republic of China (Taiwan) provided financing for the establishment of the park in 2014 following a request from the then-representative for the area, Marcella Liburd. Several years later, the Asian country readily agreed to fund the renovations.
“We work hand in hand with the government to improve the quality of life of the people of the Federation by sponsoring many infrastructural projects from Warner Park to Pinney’s Beach, Nevis to this New Road Family Park as the latest,” said His Excellency Michael Lin, Taiwan’s Resident Ambassador, adding that the shipping of the playground equipment from Taiwan and the construction work cost some US$350,000.
Honourable Dr. Hanley thanked Taiwan for its nearly 40 years of excellent friendship and support across multiple sectors.
Concerning the park, the Deputy Prime Minister indicated that an expansion project will be developed by the Department of Social Development in collaboration with the community. The Park will also serve as a model for similar developments in other communities across St. Kitts.