On August 16, 2019, approximately 60 students from the Methodist Agogic Centre (MAC) Comprehensive Secondary Education (CSE) toured the Mary’s Fancy Plantation, one of Sint Maarten’s monuments, owned by the General Pension Fund of Sint Maarten (APS). APS Projects Manager, Kendra Arnell gave the students a tour of the property, sharing the historical highlights such as its use as a sugar plantation, the background of its former owners, the archaeological digs executed by SIMARC (St. Maarten Archaeological Centre) involving local youth, as well as the pension fund’s development plans for the property. Arnell quoted, “It is important to create awareness with the youth about our local heritage. At APS we are always proud to know that we are working to ensure that this monument site is restored to share many more stories to future generations.”
APS Director, Nadya Croes-van Putten said; “APS was happy to provide a short tour to the MAC CSE students as it is the perfect way to incorporate culture and history in the educational curriculum. We gladly support these initiatives and encourage the youth to be more interested in Sint Maarten heritage. The reconstruction of the property will secure even more opportunities for us to display and tour the plantation.”
During the tour, it was explained that the property would be restored by APS, to which one of the students inquired when the rebuilding would actually start. APS director responded that: the property is still accessible for educational tours while APS stays pending for the relevant permits to be approved in order to start the demolition and rebuilding phases of the property. We remain positive for a swift processing of the permit requests so we can continue with this project as soon as possible.
As part of their assignment, the MAC CSE students are tasked with writing a report on the Mary’s Fancy Plantation using the information that was presented to them during their visit. MAC CSE Management team member, Vernon Richards stated that it is the intention to include more of these heritage topics in the curriculum of MAC CSE throughout the year. The MAC CSE students seemed to be intrigued with the information shared with them and have offered APS to assist in the clean up the property.