Imparting local history

Some 90 pupils of Golden Rock Roman Catholic Elementary School on St. Eustatius recently visited Berkel Plantation’s museum. The museum was constructed to tell the story of Joe and Esther Berkel, who bought the land in 1913 from Governor de Graaff. Descendent Ishmael Berkel, who lives on the plantation, told the children stories about his childhood. “My parents bought the land for only 1,000 dollars, which was a lot of money in those days.

Back then, we had cows and looked after them, not like today when they roam free. We made sure they were well-fed, milked and sheltered … life was not always easy then. It was a time when even flax flour bags were recycled by the local tailor to design underwear for men and women alike.” Teachers Lucinda Rhedan, Wouter de Waal and Rhea Courtar escorted the pupils to the museum. De Waal said, “It was an interesting and fascinating experience … the children were clearly enthralled by stories of the plantation past.”

Source: The Daily Herald