The ‘Bense, Anse de Mai, Ansoldat, Hampstead Tourism Development Committee’ (BAAHCTG) has been working in unison with the Dominica Community Tourism Association and the Ministry of Tourism, to enhance a few unique sites around Dominica.
Proposals include the following:
Access road to the Chaudière Pool
A retaining wall will be constructed on a section of the Ti Branche Road, to help secure the access road to the Chaudière Pool, and reduce travel time to and from the Pool.
Visitor Centre, Bense
The area that currently serves as a platform for public meetings in Bense will be cleaned and upgraded to a Visitor Centre. The existing concrete structure in Sambo’s Square will be refurbished to accommodate: a Reception Area with brochures; a Vending and Demonstration Area for arts, crafts, souvenirs, local food and drink; and a washroom facility. The Visitor Centre will be staffed with at least one attendant who will be able to assist with acquiring tour guides for visitors, if needed.
Methodist Church, Hampstead
The owners of the Methodist Church building in Hampstead have granted permission for the building to be restored and transformed into a Destination Wedding Site. The existing building is described as an historic and architectural treasure, with artifacts dating back to 200 years. It is also the birthplace of the late Bishop Bowers, who was the first Catholic Bishop to be born in Dominica.
The refurbished church will be an attraction for visitors and also a venue for hosting wedding ceremonies and museum curating. The Chapel Service will work alongside a local horsewoman, to provide horse & buggy rides from the ceremony to the reception hall.
Methodist Church – Hampstead
Waterwheel (the abandoned Sugar Mill), Hampstead Estate
The owners of the Estate have granted permission to the BAAHCTG to renovate the Waterwheel and building into a high-end restaurant, reception hall and multi-dimensional museum. The museum will highlight the history of Hampstead Estate. It will be equipped with tools and machinery from the agricultural industries, which were used at Hampstead from historical times to today.
Other historical elements to be highlighted will include political history from three former parliamentarians, namely: the late Prime Minister, Hon. Roosevelt Douglas; the late former leader of the Opposition, Hon. Michael Douglas; and the late Hon. Robert Bernard Douglas (‘RBD’), patriarch of the Douglas family, who bought the Estate at an auction in 1946.
The owners have collected short stories, poems, drawings, songs, and compositions about life at Hampstead, from primary school children of Bense, which will also be displayed.
The Committee is liaising with Dr. Lennox Honychurch to ensure that the authenticity of the site is preserved, during its restoration. The Waterwheel is expected to be driven either by solar or hydroelectric power and will be the only one of its kind on the island, that is functional. The Waterwheel will be expected to supply the works operation, and possibly the entire Hampstead Estate, with its own electricity.
Waterwheel and Works building, Hampstead Estate
Port facilities, Anse de Mai
The Anse de Mai port will be upgraded to accommodate the expected increase in the flow of passengers between the Anse De Mai and Marie Galante Ports. The intention is to purchase a ferryboat to facilitate a boat service from Anse de Mai port to Marie Galante, , on a fixed schedule. The BAAHCTG intends to set up a management contract with a certified captain/ seaman and to employ ancillary personnel to operate this service. The BAAHCTG will be the overall manager of the opertion.
Mr Jerry Williams, Chairman – Bense, Anse De Mai, Anse Soldat & Hampstead Community Tourism Committee
The BAAHCTG intends to work closely with the Dominica Air and Sea Ports Authority (DASPA), Customs and Immigration, to expand the port and to accommodate the ferryboat.
Potential beneficiaries of the BAAHCTG initiative include: the members of the BAAHCTG and their families; skilled and unskilled workers from the villages, who will assist in the construction and renovation of the new projects and other works needed from time to time; prospective personnel for the Museum, Heritage Centre and Ferryboat operations; and taxi drivers and tour guides.