At the beginning of every Board meeting, the Chair asks the Trustees to share what’s going on at their organisation. It’s such an interesting and valuable exercise. Hence I’m going to share a short summary here.
Alex Bishop began by talking about the recent hurricane which had hit the Bahamas so badly. He said it had brought climate change back up his agenda. Particularly as he was preparing for the launch of the Climate Heritage Network in Edinburgh the following month.
Martin Galea talked about a 1950s bungalow which Din L’Art Helwa was on the verge of acquiring with the help of corporate sponsorship. It is an important part of migration from Malta. He also mentioned a recent success: the prevention of the demolition of a Jesuit College in St Julian’s.
Katherine Malone-France thanked Martin for rolling out the red carpet for their Budget Director on a recent visit to Malta. She added that the National Trust for Historic Preservation was working on a $11 million National Fund for Sacred Spaces. They are working in partnership with the Lilly Foundation to give grants for deferred maintenance and accessibility projects. Fiona Reynolds mentioned that she was Chair of England’s Cathedral Fabrics Commission.
Darren Peacock continued the theme, talking about Regenerating Places of Faith. He added that National Trust of Australia (South Australia) was about to take on a new property in North Adelaide. The former asylum called Z-Ward will also become their new headquarters.
Justin Albert too spoke about the Trust’s recent support for the Merthyr Tydfil Synagogue. Along with a significant new acquisition in Wales. He added that the Trust was going to be more vocal on issues of energy and climate moving forward.
Maureen Liebl said that the Mehrangarh Museum Trust was going to apply for membership of INTO. She noted that the Indian Trust for Rural Heritage and Development worked a lot with mosques and temples. And was currently conserving an historical jail in Ranchi which was used to imprison freedom fighters. After restoration, it is to be converted into a tribal museum. There is also a craft development project underway that will revive rare and endangered traditions.
Following the success of their maps of historic buildings, Emily Drani said that they had built of good relations with local mayors and were now really engaging city authorities. She expressed her thanks to Alex for enabling CCFU to be part of a British Council event next year. CCFU will join INTO colleagues from Zanzibar in Nairobi for an important conference. She was also pleased that their concept for developing a heritage trust had received TAP-INTO funding.
Calling in from Prague, where she was at a Czech National Trust board meeting, Irena spoke about their recent conference. She was grateful for INTO’s support – both financial and through providing delegates. Speakers from FAI, the NTEWNI and Historic Houses enriched the debate. She said the event had generated lots of creative ideas and connections within the non-governmental sector.
Finally, I talked about the Heritage Open Days which were currently taking place across the world, run by INTO member organisations – and, linking this to Parkrun. I recalled a recent conversation with an NTEWNI Regional Director who revealed that the best way to get new people in to heritage sites was by changing the offer.