Hundreds of students were among the visitors who participated in the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT) annual Open house on February 26 & 27, 2008 at the organisation’s Headquarters House offices.

The visitors toured Headquarters House where they learnt the rich history of the site that served at one time as the island’s Military Headquarters as well as the Legislative Assembly. They visited the Conservation Lab where they viewed first hand how the artefacts are conserved and preserved.

There were several exhibitions on the premises featuring different aspects of the organisation’s work. Students seemed particularly fascinated with a skull of a Taino that was on display as well the many pieces of artefacts recovered from the sunken city of Port Royal. Also on show were the various equipment that the JNHT archaeologists use as they go about gathering information about the past.

There were various lecture presentations throughout the two days featuring different aspects of Jamaica’s heritage and the role of the JNHT in unearthing and researching that heritage. Communication specialist and storyteller Amina Blackwood-Meeks also had the students and teachers enthralled during a storytelling session on day one.

The Open Day was held with the aim of allowing Jamaicans to see how the JNHT works in carrying out its functions of promoting, preserving, researching and developing Jamaica’s material cultural heritage.
The JNHT is a government agency with responsibility for declaring or designating places and objects of historical value as National Monuments or Protected National Heritage.