James Ronald Webster Park
Inaugurated in 1979, the James Ronald Webster Park was previously called Burrowes Park after Hughes Burrowes who was a British administrator (1949 – 56) of the Colony of St. Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla. He was stationed in St. Kitts; but, made regular visits to Anguilla.
For generations, the park had served as the central gathering place for all Anguillians, most notably as the venue of the August Monday Bazaar traditionally run by the Anglican Church. On February 27, 1967, Britain conferred semi-independence to its Caribbean colony of St. Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla; and, this catapulted the park into modern historical prominence; for, it was chosen as the ideal venue for the July 11, 1967 referendum, the results of which were 1,813 votes for secession from the fledgling tristate and 5 against.
James Ronald Webster, a businessman, emerged as the people’s chosen leader, becoming Chairman of the Island Council. On February 7, 1969, Anguilla held a second referendum. The vote was 1,739 to 4 against returning to the tristate. Britain sent in Mr. Tony Lee to work for a while as an adviser; but, he returned in March 1969 with an invading force; and, was viewed as a friend turned foe.
An angry crowd prevented him from entering his office; then, marched to the park where more islanders gathered. Britain was finally forced to recognise Mr. Webster as the chosen Leader of the Revolution. In 1976, he became Anguilla’s first Chief Minister, having continuously served as Chairman of the Island Council.
In 1977, a vote of no confidence brought against Mr. Webster succeeded; and, so it was in 1979, that in recognition of the great contribution that he had made in service to his beloved island and people that his former Ministers of Government decided to name Burrowes Park after him. A proper and fitting consolation!
Today, the park hosts a cricket pitch and is used for numerous sporting events eg. Pre and Primary School Sports Day, Labour Day Sports Day and ALHCS Inter-house Sporting Competitions. Additionally, the Anguila Day ceremony is held there annually.
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