Photograph by: John Deiner/The Washington Post , Canada.com
Would you like to leave a legacy behind? How about as a nation builder?
People today still talk about about nation builders Sir John A. MacDonald and George Washington. And you too can be a nation builder if you make your way out to the Caribbean island of Montserrat.
You’ll actually be more of a nation re-builder. The Soufrière Hills Volcano built the island in the West Indies a couple million years ago, but then destroyed much of it as well as its capital city of Plymouth during a major eruption in 1995.
In February 2010, Soufrière Hills roared again and this time buried the island’s international airport, but the volcano has been relatively quiet since then and the locals – mostly Irish descendants – are looking to create a new paradise on their Emerald Isle.About two thirds of the island’s 8,000 population relocated to Britain after Soufrière Hills exploded.
They don’t see the volcano’s eruption as a disaster. Instead, they see an opportunity to design and create a new paradise on their island, avoiding development errors committed on other Caribbean islands.
To create this new paradise, they’re inviting Canadian adventurers to bring their design talents, construction know-how, financial proficiency, entrepreneurial skills and creative ideas to Montserrat.
They know their island has pristine features that attracted many of the world’s finest rock artists and bands. The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Elton John, Jimmy Buffet, Duran Duran, Dire Straits, Pink Floyd and Supertramp recorded many of their biggest hits at the recording studios of Sir George Martin on Montserrat.
The fact the studios were surrounded by lush tropical vegetation, isolated black-sand beaches and accessible coral reefs in the green- turquoise waters was part of the draw, but those acts could have recorded their music anywhere in the world.
The northern half of the island hasn’t been touched by the volcano and plans are underway to construct a new capital city there. Restaurants, a dive shop and a wine bar are already operating in Marine Village at Little Bay.
Montserrat is a British Overseas Territory and the British government is financing much of the renewal of the island’s economy, tourism and infrastructure. Princess Ann arrived to open a new airport in 2005.
The island has a strong Irish heritage and March 17 – St. Patrick’s Day – triggers a large celebration. The Irish were sent to Monserrat as slaves by British prime minister Oliver Cromwell. An unsuccessful slave rebellion on the island on St. Patrick’s Day in 1786 is still saluted today.
The island not only offers the opportunity to safely see an active volcano in the western hemisphere, but also the chance to see a buried community like a modern Pompeii, but without the loss of human life.
The volcano is also opening up new energy opportunities on Montserrat. Its molten interior boils water deep below the surface and geothermal wells will tap into that free energy to fuel the island’s electrical grid. The free green energy is expected to attract environmentally-conscious developers and investors.
Source: http://www.canada.com/travel/Montserrat