The Restoration of Centreville House
Centreville House has been much in the news lately as renovations have now started to restore the property to its former glory under the supervision of the Antiquities, Monuments and Museum Corporation.
CAPTION: This photograph taken from the south facing north shows the property of the Hon. Ralph G. Collins in the early thirties. The white road running through the property suggests a perimeter line. However, it was a road that ran through the center of the property before Collins Avenue and Centreville grew up around it. The home faces Shirley Street on the north. The estate was surrounded by bush on the other three sides with Collin's orchard at the back. The property extended as far back as Wulff Road.
Its restoration has also resurrected political racists propaganda that the late Ralph G Collins, former owner of the property, had encircled his grounds with a high wall to keep out black Bahamians who lived on the western side of his estate.
On Monday, The Tribune editor, who lived as a young child on Shirley Street opposite the Collins property, gave a brief history of the wall and pointed out that racism was not in the mix when the wall was built.
CAPTION: This photograph, taken from the east, shows the water tower in the distance. All three photos show the property surrounded by bush.
The following day Aaron Roberts wrote a letter to The Tribune strongly disagreeing that Mr Collins had built his wall to "secure his property from bushes (unless bushes is a new term for black people)."
CAPTION: This photograph shows the property facing Shirley Street. The property extended down to Shirley Street and was protected along this street by an ornate iron fence, a small portion of which still stands. Again the white lines are roads running through the Collins estate. Doctors Hospital now occupies that part of the property shown to the left. The Tribune is opposite the property in its present location.
We promised Mr Roberts that we would publish photographs to show that the Collins property was surrounded on three sides by bush - not by people or people's homes. On this page today some of these photographs, made available by the Collins family, are published showing the property before the wall was constructed.
April 24, 2009 (page 2)
Photos made available by the Collins family