The Sandals Foundation has funded the restoration of the Silston Library with a project donation


Silston Public Library Restoration Preserves Island’s Cultural Artefacts and Intellectual Materials

ST. JOHN’S, ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA, MAY 10, 2024 – The Sandals Foundation has financed the restoration of the Silston Library – home to the island’s invaluable cultural artefacts and intellectual materials, and accessible to over six hundred (600) Antiguans and Barbudans annually.

Working alongside the Silston Library Restoration Committee (SLRC), the University of the West Indies (UWI), the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda, and local private sector donors, the Sandals Foundation donated some US $3,100 toward the reroofing of the historic building, scheduled to be completed in May 2024.

The Silston Library Restoration Committee was commissioned to restore the library’s history, intellectual property, and educational outreach, but was forced to cease operations in 2020. Since 2022, with support from the local private sector, the SLRC has worked to convert the library’s foyer into an exhibition area featuring the lives of Antiguan and Barbudan pioneers and has renovated the main reading room.

Member of the Silston Library Restoration Committee, Margaret Irish, says the partnership with Sandals Foundation for the second phase of its restoration will help to develop the youth of the nation through community initiatives facilitated by the library.

“The Silston Library has been dormant since the early 2000s, but, once the new roof has been completed, the public can visit our exhibition centre, which focuses on the lives and legacies of unsung pioneers of Antigua and Barbuda. The SLRC can now move forward to facilitate programmes aimed at improving the learning experiences of our youth with its Boys’ Book Club and Youth Self-Awareness Seminars,” she said.

“In an age of economic, ecological, and social unpredictability, history and identity are crucial assets to the stability of our Caribbean states. The Sandals Foundation’s support of Silston Library’s new roof contributes to the preservation of a historic building unique to the nation and allows us to resuscitate the ethos of educating the nation, especially young people, about the culture and history of Antigua and Barbuda,” Irish added.

Heidi Clarke, Executive Director at the Sandals Foundation, says supporting the preservation of Caribbean islands’ unique cultural identity and access to public education is an area of keen interest to the philanthropic organisation.

“Building resilient infrastructure means not only providing new resources, but preserving existing spaces. Historic sites that protect the identity of a nation are vital to cultural preservation for future generations. Places like the Silston Library provide an accessible, inclusive space where members of the community can learn about and be proud of what makes their island home unique,” Clarke said.

Embodying its motto, ‘Man owns only what he knows’, the Silston Library has served the people of Antigua and Barbuda through summer programmes aimed at reviving reading among the younger population and bringing awareness to the need to restore the Silston Library. These initiatives are in keeping with the values of the library — to promote intellectual growth and develop the skills of future generations.


SilstonLibrary1 – The Sandals Foundation has funded the restoration of the Silston Library with a project donation of over US $3,100.

SilstonLibrary2 – The restored space will facilitate a meeting space for the hosting of annual youth programmes and initiatives for 600 persons, while preserving the cultural artefacts and intellectual materials of Antigua and Barbuda.

Sandals Foundation:

The Sandals Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in the United States, a CTA registered charity in Canada and registered charity- Charity Commission England & Wales that was created to continue and expand upon the philanthropic work that Sandals Resorts International has undertaken.

It is the culmination of close to four decades of dedication to playing a meaningful role in the lives of the communities where we operate across the Caribbean. The Sandals Foundation funds projects in three core areas: education, community and the environment. One hundred percent of the monies contributed by the general public to the Sandals Foundation go directly to programs benefiting the Caribbean community. To learn more about the Sandals Foundation, visit online at or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Advertise with the mоѕt vіѕіtеd nеwѕ ѕіtе іn Antigua!
We offer fully customizable and flexible digital marketing packages.
Contact us at [email protected]


  1. I remember taking creative dancing 🕺 classes from 1978 to 1981 with friends like Avonelle Watson under the guidance of then Antigua s greatest dance teacher Winston Christian. We used the 2nd floor as the dance studio. Memories 🎶.

Comments are closed.