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Organizers Upbeat About Nobel Laureate Festival

By Dean Nestor

THE media launch for this year’s Nobel Laureate Festival was held at GIS Studios, Hewanorra House on Thursday morning.

Outgoing Governor General, Dame PearletteLouisy, spoke with great jollity about the Nobel Laureates and the upcoming Festival, even taking time after her opening remarks to tell a self-deprecating joke about the size of her feet in relation to the “big shoes” the late Nobel Laureates have left the rest of us to fill.

Dame briefly touched on a bevy of Nobel Laureate Festival-related topics, speaking about the genesis of the Festival and how it grew from a celebration done on a single day then to a week to the lengthier one that now obtains.

About 50 events will make up this year’s Nobel Laureate Festival, which begins next Monday and ends on February 16.

The Nobel Laureate Festival Committee has been chaired by Dame Pearlette Louisy since its inception. The other members of the Committee spoke about the specific scheduled activities each one was overseeing, following the opening remarks by Dame PearletteLouisy.

The main benefactor of the Festival is the Government of St. Lucia, but its representation at the launch (the Ministry of Education Innovation, Gender Relations and Sustainable Development) took the time to thank First Citizens Investment Services for their support of the Walcott Schools’ Festival Production. The company’s representative pointed out that this was now the fifth year that First Citizens was sponsoring the Walcott Schools’ Festival, reaffirming their “commitment in supporting the people, arts and culture” of St. Lucia.

A theatrical production, Sir Derek Walcott’s “Ti Jean and His Brothers”, will be held during the Festival. Regionally, it is the play that is done the most by school students, director Kentillia Louis, said.

“In the last 10 years, we actually have not had a production locally of ‘Ti Jean and his Brothers’,” she said.

She also spoke about how various arts groups have come together with both primary and secondary school students to help with the production.

St. Mary’s College will be producing and hosting several activities over the coming weeks. Both Sirs Arthur Lewis and Derek Walcott attended the College. The school’s Theatrical Production Night will be held on January 26 with the theme, “Finding The Nobel Laureate in You, Inspiring The New Generation”.

The Sir Arthur Lewis Community College will also put on some signature events for the Nobel Laureates Festival, including the wreath-laying ceremony on January 26, a student-led production paying tribute to the Laureates, and the Poetry Slam.

Festival committee member, Delia Dolor, announced that she will be doing a radio interview with Professor AneezEsmail of the University of Manchester, who was “astounded that Sir Arthur was not only a black man but he was Britain’s first black professor”.

The other committee members spoke briefly about many of the upcoming activities for the Nobel Laureate Festival, hoping for its continued success and growth in the future.

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