Dove stays atop Red House

The Red House. - Jeff Mayers
The Red House. - Jeff Mayers

The dove weathervane will remain atop the Red House.

Roxanne Stapleton-Whyms, corporate communications manager of the Urban Development Corporation (Udecott), said so on Friday.

Udecott was responsible for managing the $441 million restoration of the Red House.

Stapleton-Whyms said the dove, which was in place at the Red House in 2016, as met by Udecott’s project team, was restored as the permanent fixture on top of the rotunda cupola, as specified.

There were no instructions to return or restore the sea serpent weathervane that the dove replaced.

The sea serpent is believed to have been there since the Red House was rebuilt after the 1903 fire during the Water Riots.

The section on the Red House on Parliament’s website says: “With the re-election of the People’s National Movement in 1992, the Red House became, once again, the centre of controversy when a decision was taken to remove the resident sea serpent atop the building in order to replace it with a dove bearing an olive branch in its beak.”

The 20-pound dove, made of copper, and painted white, designed by Ken Morris, was put in place on the night of January 11, 1992, reportedly under the supervision of Works Minister Colm Imbert.

There was talk at the time that the sea serpent, often mistakenly referred to as a dragon, was unlucky or was a sign that obeah was being worked on the country.

Patrick Manning, who was then prime minister, is said to have felt the country needed peace, especially after the attempted coup of 1990.

According to the Parliament website, the dove was installed in time for the ceremonial opening of the 1992 parliamentary session.

Newsday was told the sea serpent weathervane may be at the National Museum. Calls to the museum for confirmation went unanswered.


"Dove stays atop Red House"

More in this section