By Hadassah Deleveaux (née Hall)
Congratulations and well done to employees of the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), who have pooled their financial resources and collected $10,000, which has been donated towards the redevelopment of the historic Southern Recreation Grounds.
Decades ago, these historic grounds became the meeting place for throngs of people, hungry for change. Though I was yet born, I picture the eagerness and hope in the eyes of many who flocked there, intently listening to the fiery speeches and the rallying call for the movement of a people ‘Forward, Upward, Onward, Together.’ Oppression was real and the majority began to realize the power that reposed within as they banded together.
Many of today’s generation perhaps pass the Southern Recreation Grounds without an inkling that the space, which sits between Market Street and Blue Hill Road, was once flocked to in an effort to hear booming voices lament the need for women’s rights, fair wages, racial equality, electoral fairness and more in the then colony.
When I interviewed Vaughn Albury for my blog, he spoke of the park and its historic role.
“We grew up when East Street was everything in politics. We grew up during a progressive movement when there were a lot of rallies on the Southern Recreation Grounds, Windsor Park and others on Clifford Park. I felt privileged to be a part of that. At those rallies were people like the late Sir Randol Fawkes, Sir Lynden Pindling, Sir Cecil Wallace-Whitfield,” he reminisced.
The redevelopment of the grounds is one of the projects under the Over-the-Hill Community Development Partnership Initiative. The $10,000 was RBC employees’ way of contributing to a local community program.
The donation will be earmarked for the green technology component of the Over-the-Hill revitalization program. It is reportedly the precursor to a larger donation expected to be made over the next six months.