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24.07.2005 General News

Rename Usher Fort - Netherlands

Rename Usher Fort - Netherlands

Accra, July 24, GNA - The Royal Netherlands Ambassador in Ghana, Mr Van Der Wiel, on Saturday suggested that the name of the Usher Fort in Ghana should be changed to its original, "Crevecoeur' to reflect its Dutch heritage.

He said the Dutch originally christened the fort "Crevecoeur", meaning "heartbreak" but a Polish national who worked for the Dutch African Trading Company later changed it to Usher Fort.

This was stated Mr Wiel at a mini durbar at the Otuopai Mantse's palace at Old Accra, where he was honoured for recognising the people of the area as his kinsmen and descendants of the Dutch.

The Otuopai lineage traces its roots to a Dutch Captain, John Nickiel Addy who married one of their daughters, Naa Borkai, with whom he had five children, two males and three females.

The male children- Albert Tettey Addy and Saul Tettey Addy were later sent to Holland for training.

They returned, married and had children to create the Stool name "Otuopai" after Saul the younger of the male children had led the Ga's to war, after which a stool and a lineage established for him with the stool name, Nii Tetteh Tsuru.

Mr Wiel said even though the Usher Fort became historic because of the many conflicts that surrounded it, it had now become a centre of peace in Dutch Accra.

History, he said, revealed a lot about the identity of the people, adding, "We should not forget our history because it would shape our future".

The Ambassador said that because of the relationship Holland had with Old Accra, his country was looking at ways of rehabilitating the area to make it economically viable as it used to be in the 1960's before a lot of business were taken to Tema. He said the Embassy, in collaboration with the city of Amsterdam, held a workshop, after which a long-term strategy was evolved to develop key areas in old Accra.

Key among the areas the strategy addressed was the economic revival of the area.

Mr Wiel included in the project was the construction of a fishing harbour, which was a potential source of development to bring Old Accra to its former glory as an economic haven.

Other areas the project would address are the rehabilitation of some squares in the area as tourist attractions, waste and sanitation and the education of the youth.

The project, which is expected to last till 2015, would involve a number of stakeholders and donors in Amsterdam.

Mr Wiel expressed optimism that the initiative would give the needed boost for the Old as well as the Dutch quarters of Accra. He expressed appreciation for the honour done him, saying, "It is like coming home, after all we are kinsmen."

Nii Tetteh Tsuru II, Otuopai Manste thanked the Ambassador and the Netherlands for the initiative to rekindle the past glory of Old Accra and pledged the support of his people when the project begun. Mr Weil, who was accompanied by his wife, Mathilde Van der Wiel and an Embassy staff, Bob Hansen, was presented with a stool and a wax print, which symbolised togetherness.