In a community-driven initiative, a dedicated group of citizens has banded together to restore and preserve the historic mural that commemorates the tragic 1674 massacre of the Kalinago people by British troops.
Margaux LaRocque, one of the team members leading the restoration efforts, shared the group’s motivation with Dominica News Online (DNO). She emphasized their commitment to ensuring that the village’s history remains intact and easily accessible to
future generations and visitors to the island.
The town of Massacre derives its name from a somber event in 1674 when the English, in a dark chapter of history, massacred the Kalinago people. This atrocity unfolded in a settlement established by Thomas “Carib” Warner, the son of the English colonizer Sir
Thomas Warner and a Kalinago woman from Dominica. Tragically, Thomas Warner was murdered by his own English half-brother, Phillip Warner, leading to the annihilation of the community he had founded.
In a conversation with DNO, Father Franklin Cuffy, shed light on its origins and its profound significance noting that the mural serves as a testament to the consequences of sibling rivalry as well as a powerful and poignant reminder of the tragedy that unfolded on Dominica’s soil.
He explained that the painting, which has stood as a historical landmark for many decades, was originally commissioned in 1988 by the Parish Priest. According to Father Cuffy, the mural’s creation was initiated by the Redemptorists’ “Social Justice and Peace Program.”
This program was established with the primary purpose of commemorating historical events and their far-reaching implications. The mural, through its evocative and vivid portrayal, vividly captures the events of the 1674 massacre and the enduring impact it had on the Kalinago people and the island of Dominica as a whole.
He is of the view that “Today, with the Kalinago ascending to the presidency 350 years after the 1674 massacre, we are once again witnessing the unpleasant struggle showing its face among the First Natives.”