There is the inevitable shake-up of boards of public agencies following a change of government, but I would like to shine a light on the fine contribution of the Board of Milk River Spa chaired by Dr Guyan Arscott, to the renovation of this treasure of Clarendon. The Board described their mandate and vision of the Milk River Mineral Bath and Spa (MRBS): “Milk River to become an iconic project to form the driving force of South Coast Tourism.”
An 18th century slave discovered the healing spring, bathing in its waters after a merciless beating by estate owner Jonathan Ludford. Ludford promised never to punish the slave again, if he showed him the spring, whereupon he fenced it assigned the slave as the watchman. Upon his death in 1794, he willed the property (about 100 acres) to the government. The tourism ministry website notes: “Analysis of the mineral spring has established that it is more radioactive than leading European spas, (fifty-four times as active as Baden in Switzerland and three times as active as Karlsbad, Austria). The waters are reputed to cure numerous ailments including rheumatism, gout …”
The seniors organisation, Caribbean Community of Retired Persons (CCRP) organised an outing there last year, and we were impressed by the facilities at the large, sparkling mineral pool, enjoyed by adults and children alike. The renovation of the main building was underway, and I am hoping that the well laid plans of the former board, which was also served by the amazing Scarlette Gillings, will be continued – this includes plans for retirement villas.