Senior says urgent work needed to bring Admiralty House Park back to former glory
A historic park once brought back fond memories of her childhood to Germaine Trott.
But the Spanish Point resident said the run-down state of Admiralty House Park in Pembroke now reduced her to tears.
Ms Trott, 83, who has lived in the area her entire life, said that the park used to be a desegregated haven for everyone and had been the venue for countless wedding receptions, funerals and birthday parties.
She added that the park, particularly a bathroom that had been there for decades, had been allowed to crumble and become an eyesore.
Ms Trott said: “Sometimes it brings back a tear because in my younger days – when I was maybe ten or 11 years old – I was up there washing dishes for people.”
“It pains me every time I enter that property, go to the top of that hill and look at that place.”
She added: “It’s devastating – the roof’s gone, everything’s gone.
“It’s an eyesore and it’s devastating to a lot of us who grew up there.”
Ms Trott, the daughter of former MP Wesley LeRoy Tucker, grew up in Spanish Point with two younger brothers, Wesley Myer Tucker and Gilbert Tucker.
She said that Admiralty Park had become the “centrepiece” of the Spanish Point area and was popular because of its striking view of North Shore.
Ms Trott added: “When people got married and left the church, they would come up to Admiralty House and have their wedding reception.
“When children had their birthdays the family would go up to Admiralty House because there was plenty of space for them to run and have a good time.”
Ms Trott said: “My mother was in charge of a charity – the Sunshine League – at that time and she would have tea parties up there raising money for the Sunshine League.
“In those days, we didn’t use paper plates or plastic plates – we had china plates and that meant we children had to wash all the dishes after those parties.”
Ms Trott added that Admiralty House was also one of the few desegregated parks on the island.
She said: “When I was growing up as a young girl there were a lot of places where we as Black people could not go, so Admiralty House was a space for White and Black people.
“Anybody could go up there. There was no discrimination up there at all and it was great for Black people because more of them went up there.
“There were never any problems, nobody had to call the police and everybody knew how to behave back then.”
Ms Trott added: “You’d meet all kinds of people from one end of the island to the other. They’d be swimming or attending functions. It was a very healthy time for us up there.
“It really was a very good space – and to be honest it’s a real miss.”
Ms Trott said that she started to notice a decline in the park around the 1980s when repairs appeared to have halted.
She explained: “I must have been like 40 or 45 when I noticed that the windows started to go and the roof started to cave in.
“Eventually, the Government had to put up a barricade around the whole building.”
Ms Trott added: “When I walk the dogs, I would walk all the way to the back of the building and all around the veranda, or I went and took the dogs down to the waterside.
“But it got to the point where I couldn’t do that any more – it became very dangerous because everything was falling down.”
Ms Trott appealed to the Government to refurbish the area and rent it out for private parties to help pay for renovations.
She said: “In my view the Government has lost a heck of a lot of money not renting it out for different occasions.
“I still can’t figure out why nobody has done anything about it.”
The Ministry of Public Works last year asked for expressions of interest to renovate and run the former Admiralty House ballroom.