Courtesy of: The Morning News
By: Rosalie Klein
San Nicolas, the city that dominates Aruba’s eastern end, welcomed two new sights to enhance a tourist’s day trip to “Sunrise City.” On the eve of the holiday weekend the renovated Watertoren (Water Tower) was unveiled, a landmark building from the 1930’s and the day before that, the San Nicolas Community Museum opened its doors.
Head of the project, Zahira Zaandam, admits the exhibit is still “a work in progress;” meant to eventually integrate artifacts and items from the San Nicolas community, presenting a tableau of colonial and 20th century society in the area.
What is presently on display was acquired from the Odor Family Foundation, which maintained a remarkable collection of antiques, art, island and global artifacts in the family home, which used to be the Aruba Antiquities Museum. This collection was rarely on view to the public, only by appointment or on a national holiday.
The government has arranged to use various items from this extensive collection in presenting a charming picture of past island society. It will be accented with old photos and artifacts of the San Nicolas community, with regularly changing exhibits dedicated to outstanding community members and personalities, such as singer and composer Lord Cobashi, a San Nicolas and Carnival icon, which is currently on display.
Museum hours are daily, Tuesday through Sunday. Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, the exhibit is open to the public from 10:00 AM until 6:00 PM. On Thursdays it is open only the afternoon, from 2:00 until 9:00 PM, so visitors to the weekly Carubbian Festival may visit. Sundays it is open from 10:00 AM until 2:00 PM. During this first month, entrance is free; after mid-April the fee will be $2. It is closed on Monday.
Roy Feliciana, a member of the Odor family, has been working with the collection for some years and is the resident tour guide, ready to provide lively commentary on some of the objects. Located just off the main street of San Nicolas, directly behind the CMB Bank across from the main bus terminal, The San Nicolas Community Museum can provide some “extra spice” to a visit to Baby Beach and its environs.