WELCOME TO

MONTSERRAT

“A people of excellence, moulded by nature, nurtured by God”

A fond welcome to locals and visitors!

Each and every visit to the Caribbean is like no other. There is always something new to learn, places to go or things to do. Sculpted by nature, the islands are ever-changing and evolving. With so many islands to choose from it is never easy to decide on where to stop.
We want to introduce you to our beautifully unique islands. Make sure you stay a while, take your time! In the Caribbean there’s no rush, let’s just ‘go with the flow’.
The more you learn, the more you will want to know, so relax and discover

the wonderful island of Montserrat

Flag of Montserrat

Montserrat is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom therefore the British Union Jack is present on the upper left section of the flag, known as Canton. The overall setting of the flag is blue in colour which symbolizes awareness, trustworthiness, determination and righteousness. 

The Montserratian emblem is located on the right half of the Montserrat Flag, which represents Erin. Erin is the female personification of Ireland. The golden harp that she holds is also a symbol of Ireland. Both reflect the country’s Irish ancestry.

Montserrat Coat of Arms

The Coat of Arms of Montserrat pays tribute to the Irish ancestry of the country, as much of the population descended from the Irish settlers exiled to the island in the 17th century.

First adopted in 1909, the arms consist of a shield that features a lady in green representing Erin, the female personification of Ireland, based on the mythology of Erin.

The lady holds a golden harp, the symbol of Ireland featured in Ireland’s Coat of Arms. The black cross symbolises Christianity.

Oh Montserrat,

proud Motherland

Your children raise your standard high.

Into island tears to serve you well,

The emerald jewel from God’s hand. 

CHORUS:

Oh Montserrat, by nature blest

To you your children sing

Come well or woe, come friend or foe

To you your people cling. 

Rise up and make our country great

With art and skill and sacrifice

With masque and drum we celebrate,

Triumphant masters of our fate 

We sing our land in harmony

May God be her eternal guard

And make Montserrat a house of hope

A haven in the Carib Sea.

No pestilence shall mar your shore

No fount of sadness overwhelm

A people striving under God

Their spirits free forevermore 

H A Fergus 

(Extra Verse as Necessary)

No pestilence pollutes her shore

No fount of sadness overwhelm

A people striving under God

Their spirits free forever more.

Andrew Pearce Governor of Montserrat

ANDREW PEARCE

GOVERNOR

Donaldson Romeo Governor of Montserrat

DONALDSON ROMEO

PREMIER
 

Governors

WILLOUGHBY THOMPSON
TOOK OFFICE: 1971 – LEFT OFFICE: 1974

NORMAN MATTHEWS
TOOK OFFICE: 1974 – LEFT OFFICE: 1976

GWILYM JONES
TOOK OFFICE: 1977 – LEFT OFFICE: 1980

DAVID DALE
TOOK OFFICE: 1980 – LEFT OFFICE: 1984

ARTHUR WATSON
TOOK OFFICE: 1985 – LEFT OFFICE: 1987

CHRISTOPHER TURNER
TOOK OFFICE: 1987 – LEFT OFFICE: 1990

DAVID TAYLOR
TOOK OFFICE: 1990 – LEFT OFFICE: 1993

FRANK SAVAGE
TOOK OFFICE: 1993 – LEFT OFFICE: 1997

TONY ABBOTT
TOOK OFFICE: 1997 – LEFT OFFICE: 2001

SIR HOWARD FERGUS (acting)
TOOK OFFICE: 2001

TONY LONGRIGG
TOOK OFFICE: 11/04/2001 – LEFT OFFICE: 02/04/2004

SIR HOWARD FERGUS (acting)
TOOK OFFICE: 2004

DEBORAH JONES
TOOK OFFICE: 10/05/2004 – LEFT OFFICE: 06/07/2007

JOHN SKERRIT (acting)
TOOK OFFICE: 06/07/2007 – LEFT OFFICE: 13/07/2007

SIR HOWARD FERGUS (acting)
TOOK OFFICE: 13/07/2007 – LEFT OFFICE: 27/07/2007

PETER WATERWORTH
TOOK OFFICE: 27/07/2007 – LEFT OFFICE: 03/03/2011

SARITA FRANCIS (acting)
TOOK OFFICE: 03/03/2011 – LEFT OFFICE: 08/04/2011

ADRIAN DAVIS
TOOK OFFICE: 08/04/2011 – LEFT OFFICE: 08/07/2015

ALRIC TAYLOR (acting)
TOOK OFFICE: 08/07/2015 – LEFT OFFICE: 05/08/2015

ELIZABETH CARRIERE
TOOK OFFICE: 05/08/2015 – LEFT OFFICE: 02/01/2018

LYNDELL SIMPSON (acting)
TOOK OFFICE: 02/01/2018 – LEFT OFFICE: 01/02/2018

ANDREW PEARCE
TOOK OFFICE: 01/02/2018 – INCUMBENT

Premiers

The Honourable REUBEN MEADE
(1954-)
TOOK OFFICE: 13/10/2010 – LEFT OFFICE: 12/09/2014

The Honourable DONALDSON ROMEO
(1962-)
TOOK OFFICE: 12/09/2014 – INCUMBENT

MONTSERRAT MUST STOPS

  • CULTURAL CENTRE
  • MONTSERRAT MUSEUM
  • CENTRE HILLS
  • BAT CAVE

Cultural Centre in Montserrat

The Montserrat Cultural Centre, a prominent landmark in Little Bay, is an earnest of official intention to plant a new town in the ultra-safe north of the island. Sir George Martin, the renowned music producer who is most known for his work with The Beatles, funded the construction of the centre in 2006 as a gift to  the Montserratians. This is the same George Martin who established a state-of-the-art recording studio, Montserrat Air Studios, at the historic Waterworks estate in the 1970s; it attracted international stars of the calibre of Elton John and added to the island’s fame as a welcoming isle. Elton John’s bronze hand print can be seen on the Wall of Fame exhibit, along with many other famous musicians who recorded on the island in the 80s. The Montserrat Cultural Centre is a multipurpose performing arts centre and is one of the island’s premier events venues. 

Information adapted from themontserratculturalcentre.ms

Montserrat Museum

The Montserrat Museum in Little bay is managed by the Montserrat National Trust. It exhibits displays and informs on Montserrat’s History and Culture from pre-Columbian to Modern day. Visitors and locals are given the opportunity to learn about Montserrat and history with open mornings twice a week. 

Information courtesy of the Montserrat National Trust

Centre Hills in MontserratA forest reserve renowned for its biological diversity and rich habitats. The tropical rainforest is home to most of Montserrat’s species of land birds and a huge number of migrant songbirds. The Severally globally endangered birds, reptiles and plant species can be found within the forest. In some cases, the area harbours the entire population of the endangered species. Some species are near extinction, and this include the Montserrat Oriole, which is the country’s National Bird. Visitors to Centre Hill have the opportunity to hike along eight trails out of the nine that are found on the country.

Bat Cave in Montserrat

From Little Bay, you can either swim or take a 30 to 50 minute hilly hike to discover the island’s only white sand beach. There is rich coral and marine life that make for good snorkelling. From here, with a tour guide, you can access the colony of Antillean fruit-eating bats. Thousands of bats are on display, divided into two caves: one with females with their young, the other with males. Sounds like a romantic date.

Information courtesy of visitmontserrat.com

History of Montserrat

Stamp from Montserrat

The Carib Indians were among the first inhabitants of the island. Christopher Columbus sighted the island in November 1493, and named the island after the abbey of Montserrat in Spain.  The island was colonised by Irish Catholics from St. Kitts in 1632, who were sent there by Sir Thomas Warner, the first British governor of St. Kitts.  Rum, sugar and cotton plantations were the main sources of income for the island.  However with the abolition of slavery in 1834, Montserrat’s plantation system declined, it was then that British philanthropist named Joseph Sturge purchased his own sugar estate in 1857 to prove that hiring paid workers was more beneficial than using slave labour. The Sturges became Montserrat’s most powerful family. They started a school, began Montserrat’s commercial lime juice industry and founded the Montserrat Company Limited. After the Sturges began selling land to the local population, most of the island was owned by shareholders.

Between 1871 and 1956 Montserrat was part of the British Federal Colony of the Leeward Islands, which included the British Virgin Islands, Saint Kitts–Nevis–Anguilla, and Dominica. The federation was abolished on July 1, 1956, when Montserrat became a colony in its own right. During 1958–62 Montserrat was part of the short-lived Federation of the West Indies.

In 1989, hurricane Hugo devastated the island destroying 90% of the island’s buildings.  Shortly after the island recovered from this category 4 storm, the island was hit by another natural disaster; the long-dormant Soufrière Hills volcano erupted, burying the island’s capital, Plymouth, in mud.  To this day, parts of Montserrat which were most affected by the eruption of the volcano, remain unsafe for people to live in or visit.

The Irish influence remains strong on the island, which has celebrated St. Patrick’s Day as an official public holiday since 1768.  Irish influence is also evident in Montserrat’s traditional music, which incorporates drumming and fife playing into standard Caribbean rhythms.