CENTRAL BANK OF BARBADOS ANNOUNCES PLANS TO ESTABLISH MASONIC LODGE RESTORATION FUND
The Central Bank of Barbados has announced its intention to establish the Masonic Lodge Restoration Fund, a registered charity, to assist in financing the refurbishment and restoration of the historic Spry Street building.
“The Masonic Lodge is one of the oldest buildings not only in Barbados, but also in the region, and has rich history and tremendous significance to Barbadians,” explained Governor, Dr. Marion Williams. “It is for this reason that we are committed to preserving its legacy.”
The building was originally built in the 17th century and was the first home of Harrison College. It is also a key structure in efforts to have the Bridgetown and Garrison area declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The total cost of refurbishing the building is estimated to be $5.6 million. The Central Bank has already pledged $2.5 million to refurbish the building, and hopes, after receiving tax and customs concessions, to raise the remainder of the money needed, approximately $1.7 million, through the Fund. “We are therefore seeking partners to assist us in our restoration efforts and welcome contributions of interested members of the public,” said Dr. Williams.
After the restoration is completed, the Central Bank, which purchased the building in 2006, plans to open a numismatic museum that will showcase circulation and commemorative currency from Barbados and countries around the world. There are also plans for a staff gymnasium and office and meeting room space.