TCI News

Turks and Caicos National Museum Gala – Theme: Building for the future, to protect the past.

#Providenciales, June 12, 2019 – Turks and Caicos – In the presence of the Hon. Premier of the Turks & Caicos Islands, Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson, Hon. Derek Taylor and Hon. Mike Eman, former Prime Minister of Aruba, The Turks & Caicos Islands National Museum Foundation (TCNMF) held its sold out  inaugural  gala at the beautiful Shore Club, sponsored by Stan Hartling and the Hartling group, to launch the fund raising campaign for the new national museum on Provo.

The gala was a resounding success and incredibly raised over $200,000 from this event alone! With funds coming from ticket sales, event sponsorship, advertising, silent auction, sale of  engraved pavers and donations; with an unbelievably generous $100,000 alone coming from Martin & Donna Seim, Son of the original museum founder and board director respectively, to name the main gallery in honor of the late Nils and Grethe Seim.

MC for the night was Dr. Hugh Fulford, President of the TCI Community College and Board Director of TCNMF. Hugh kept everyone entertained and managed to extract additional funds from many!

The Hon. Premier made an impassioned speech about the importance of historical and cultural preservation and her governments support for the national museum, including a budgeted $50,000 in this year’s budget, increasing to $100,000 thereafter. The Hon. Premier also introduced the guest of honor and her old friend, Mike Eman, who she received the Chairmanship of OCTA from in February 2017.

Hon. Mike Eman traveled from Aruba to support the event, along with his wife Doina Eman and spoke about the importance of economic growth and increasing our capacity for luxury tourism, as they have done in Aruba, but also to ensure that education, housing, health and general well-being of our citizens is an intrinsic part of that growth and to take lessons from the past, particularly in relation to the sense of family, belonging and community. He also touched on the similar pre-Columbian history and architectural elements found on Aruba, at the other end of the Caribbean.

Award winning architect, Ron Shaw walked everyone through the new building design with an audio-visual presentation and spoke of the architectural elements throughout the island that inspired his incredible vision for the new national museum building and the ability to expand for future requirements without issue and to the energy efficiency of the building and the ability to utilize renewable energy.

Dr. Michael Pateman, Director of the TCNM spoke passionately about his vision for the future of the new museum, and how it should of course be informative and reflect the amazingly diverse history of the Turks & Caicos Islands, but that it will also be fun and entertaining; also what the museum will exhibit, with a real emphasis on the people of the islands and on embracing new technologies to appeal to a younger and wider tech savvy audience.

A truly delicious Dinner was prepared by the Shore Club’s Executive Chef Martin Davies and his team, which was served by The Clement Howell High School Tourism Club, who did an incredible job, as they pleasantly and efficiently served the entire gathering in record time; beaming with pride throughout the entire process. Future tourism professionals one and all!

During Dinner TCI cultural legend David Bowen and Friends stunned the entire audience with an incredible and unique cultural show that was especially put together for the gala with dancing, singing and storytelling about family, fishing, bush medicine and times past, with the beautiful voice of TCI songbird, Barbara Johnson.

TCNMF Board members, Hon. Derek Taylor, Dr. Don Keith and Mr. Thomas Saunders all received long service awards for their incredible 27 years of volunteering on the board of Directors, since the museums inception, and were presented with plaques made from the last 3 pieces of oak left over from the Grandfather Clock in the national museum and executive pens made from hurricane damaged trees from the museum garden on Grand Turk, to make a real connection to the museum. The awards were presented by the Hon. Premier.

A vote of thanks was given by Séamus Day, President of the TCNMF, acknowledging the sense of community that brought everyone together for the event and thanked the TCI Government, and all the incredible companies and individuals, that made the event possible, particularly the Hartling Group: The Shore Club, The Palms & The Sands, Mr. Ron Shaw, Karen Whitt, Martin Davies, Graceway, Jackson Family Wines, Ministry of Tourism, Gilley’s Enterprises, TCBC, TCHTA, Ritz Carlton, Amanyara, Parrot Cay, TC Collection, Grace Bay Resorts & Gracebay Foundation, Beaches, Wymara, Ocean Club, Fortis TCI, Turks Head Brewery, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Sotheby’s, Clearwater Capital,  ERA Coralie Properties, The Agency, Intercaribbean Airways, Olympic Construction Ltd.,  Projectech, Spa Tropique, High Point Resort Orlando, Grace Bay Car Rentals and Grace Bay Paint & Supply. Additionally, the TCNMF team of professionals and volunteers, with special mention to Vanessa Pateman for her design work on the commemorative booklet and banners and the Krieble Foundation for all their incredible support spanning over a decade.

The silent auction raised an additional $5,500 and a huge thank you to all that donated.

The museum also launched their campaign to raise funds through the sale of  laser etched bricks and pavers, so if you would like to have a brick engraved with the name of a loved one or your company and logo, please get in touch by calling our Director, Dr Pateman on 649 232 4535 or visit the museums website: or email

These will be laid out on the main walkway to the new museum building, a wall of honor and the museum cultural and heritage gardens.

Other fund-raising initiatives include the naming rights to the new national museum building, galleries and gardens, so again, if you would like to support the national museum, please contact us to discuss partnering with The Turks & Caicos National Museum.

TCNMF is a registered not for profit organization aimed at recording, interpreting, preserving and celebrating the history of the Turks and Caicos Islands and its people.

Release: TCI Museum

Photo Credit: Sean Brady

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