On Monday 19th March, St George’s Church, Gravesend welcomes two special visitors from the US State of Virginia in connection with the town’s connection to Pocahontas, the Native American princess who died in the town on 21st March 1617. They will be speaking on the theme ‘The Many Faces of Pocahontas’, and the free event is open to everyone.
Chief Anne Richardson is from the Rappahannock Tribe in Virginia and Jamie Bosket is the President and CEO of The Virginia Museum of History and Culture.
Chief Anne has been to Gravesend on a number of occasions. She took part last March in the special parade and service for Pocahontas 400 and her words made a great impact on many people. “Gravesend has a special place in my heart,” says Chief Anne, “and I look forward to meeting old friends and sharing my story with new ones too”.
Jamie Bosket is the President and CEO of the recently renamed Virginia Museum of History and Culture, a major museum and archive based in Richmond, Virginia. This will be his first visit to Gravesend since taking up his prestigious appointment just over a year ago. He comments, “I’m excited to be coming to Gravesend and to cementing further the growing relationship between the borough and the people of Virginia. The museum owns several of the most popular representations of Pocahontas and I’ll be surveying the ways this Powhatan princess has been historically remembered and portrayed – the reality and the myth.”
St George’s has its own long association with the people of Virginia – they donated the statue in the churchyard back in 1958, for example – and the current Rector of St George’s, Canon Chris Stone, is delighted that the relationship continues to flourish especially through the town-twinning links with Chesterfield County in Virginia. “We’re delighted to welcome Anne and Jamie,” he said, “and the subject of this talk is a fascinating one, looking at how Pocahontas has been seen over the centuries, not least by Disney. I hope that there will be a good turnout for the event, with a chance to talk to both our guests”.
The event is free; however, donations to the Friends of St George’s are welcome.