Jackson served as the head of Historic Preservation for the past seven years, and during his 28-year tenure in the office, served in various other positions, including senior planning and cultural advisor to the late Gov. Alexander A. Farrelly. He was also curator for the V.I. Cultural Heritage Institute for two years.
As the office's director, Jackson helped spread awareness about the application of historic preservation laws throughout the territory. He also helped to bring about the development of several historical projects, such as the revitalization of the Rothschild Francis Market Square on St. Thomas and the Sunday Market "Times Square" on St. Croix. The reconstruction of the Sanderilla Thomas Bungalow, along with renovations to Fort Christian and Fort Frederick were also some of the projects on Jackson's to-do list.
The institute's main goals are the protection, promotion, support, revitalization and dissemination of V.I. culture. Jackson plans on seating a governing board, establishing institute offices in both districts and opening cultural centers on each island, giving residents and visitors the opportunity to learn about and participate in programs relating to V.I. history and culture.
Taking over for Jackson at the State Historic Preservation Office will be Lorna A.C. Thomas, who has nearly 20 years of professional experience in governmental and private sector project management, the release said. Thomas is a graduate of Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic School, and Princeton University.
As the agency's new director, Thomas plans to continue to promote an understanding and appreciation of local culture and historic resources, the release said.
"I am a keen believer in the nexus between heritage tourism and economic development in the Virgin Islands," Thomas said in the release. "Our rich architectural and cultural heritage has a value and interest to those who call our islands home, as well as the millions of visitors who grace our shores yearly."
Rounding out the list of new appointments within the Department of Planning and Natural Resources, former Sen. Donald "Ducks" Cole will now be heading the agency's division of Libraries, Museums and Archives.
After starting his career in 1982 as a legislative aide, Cole moved on to the position of assistant archivist in 1984, followed by the position of chief archivist and researcher two years later. While serving two senatorial terms, Cole was also the secretary of the 24th Legislature, chairman of the Committee on Planning and Environmental Protection and the liaison to Congress.
Most recently, Cole taught U.S. and V.I. history to students at the Addelita Cancryn Junior High School.
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