Of vegetating monuments

Editorial Of vegetating monuments
FEB 27, 2023 LISTEN

Thanks to the President for making good his promise of rescuing the first formal school in the country. As a forebear of all schools in the country and therefore a historical monument, the Philip Quarcoe School, long forgotten and only remembered by residents of Cape Coast, this formal basic institution should not fall but stand a memento.

The Philip Quarcoe School in Cape Coast is a pioneer from whose four walls generations of educated persons have been churned out in its 250 years of existence.

If you can read this editorial, express gratitude to the Philip Quarcoe School in Cape Coast which produced the first educated Gold Coasters who proceed to spread the word.

It is heartbreaking and regrettable how unfortunately this school had hardly seen any form of refurbishment and was on the verge of collapsing, its pillars no longer able to shoulder the ancient edifice, but for the President's intervention.

The story of the school under review is a reminder about how the average Ghanaian, including those at the helm, hardly show any respect for our historical monuments.

Not all countries are endowed with historical monuments. Ghana is one of the countries which can boast of many monuments, some of them dating back to the early days of European contact with us.

Such tourist attractions and sources of foreign exchange and some of them being allowed to decay and posting images of abandonment even when we require foreign exchange badly, does not show us a serious people.

Many forts and castles are in sorry state, Fort Amsterdam in the Central Region being one. They look like nobody wants them any longer, yet they constitute an aspect of our chequered history and should therefore be maintained in a manner that defines our respect for our heritage.

Internal tourism should be encouraged by deed not orally. We have heard too many promises about something positive going to happen about our many historical monuments, yet little or nothing is being seen so far.

But for the independence anniversary in Cape Coast whose preparatory stages exposed the dilapidated Philip Quarcoe School and subsequent intervention by the President, the historical piece would have just given in one day and a 250-year memento of our past lost forever.

The story of the Philip Quarcoe School should prompt us to do more about national monuments and heritage.

The first drinking water fountain in the colony, on the side of the James Fort in Accra, has been stripped of its bronze plaque with its historical inscriptions for many years now, and nobody seems to have taken notice.

It was opened for use in 1910 by Governor Nathan and until Kumasi getting its many years later, it remained the only one in the Gold Coast. Unfortunately, it has been left to vegetate.

We are a people with no appreciation for history, which is why the Philip Quarcoe School nearly collapsed.

—Daily Guide