THE National Archives located at Vigie, Castries was abuzz with activity on Friday last , when, in the presence of relatives, friends, specially invited guests, students and teachers, Mr. Clement Springer Williams, launched his book, “From the Hollywood to a Vibrant Business site: The Conway St. Lucia”.
In his heyday, Springer was a well-known figure on the local music and cultural scene. He was a member of the Arts Guild, an original member of the Tru Tones and founder of the folk group, the Helenites.
In 1948, he joined the Police Band and later became Deputy Band Leader. He was seconded to the Ministry of Education to teach music at select secondary schools and the St. Lucia Teachers’ College and ended his career with government as Director of Culture prior to his retirement in 1987.
According to Mr. Springer, (who had immigrated to the USA after his retirement), on one of his visits to the island, he felt overwhelmed by a feeling of nostalgia about the Conway area when he saw the building housing the present Conway Business Center on the site where he knew the Hollywood houses once stood and where he had grown up and remembered with affection.
That gave him the impetus to write the book in which he provides vivid sketches of the personalities who lived in Conway and gives a rare glimpse into the love that binds families together despite their impoverishment. In addition, it documents how society was stratified but did not prevent young people from what people regarded as “slum” areas from excelling in mainstream society and contributing to the development of the country.
Williams made donations of his book to the National Archives, Folk Research Centre and Central Library. Another “Conway man”, Mr. Hubert Pierre, donated photographs of old Conway to the National Archives.
Upon accepting the donations, National Archivist, Mrs. Margot Thomas, reminded the audience that the National Archives was always ready to receive books, manuscripts, photographs, and ephemera (such as posters, funeral leaflets, magazines, party manifestos, and the like) of Saint Lucia’s history.