This year’s Nobel Laureate Festival is set to take on added dimensions with the inclusion and participation of several constituencies on island –and an exciting array of cultural presentations and artistic productions.
According to the organisers, the Nobel Laureate Festival will run from January 8 to 29 and continuing, with extended programming in February.
The overriding Theme for this year’s activities is: Celebrating Excellence: Nurturing Our Creativity, Consolidating Our Legacy.
Over the past years, the Nobel Laureate Festival Committee (NLFC) input has been driven by passion and dedication to the event. And in celebration of its 30th anniversary year, an NLFC spokesperson stated that the activities honours Saint Lucia’s two Nobel Laureates: Sir William Arthur Lewis (1915-1991) – Awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1979 and Sir Derek Alton Walcott (1930-2017) – Awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992.
Additionally, in keeping with this year’s theme “embraces the many social changes during the year and recognizes positive developments”.
“Sir Arthur and Sir Derek have definitely been trailblazers of excellence in their respective fields, in economics and in literature,” Her Excellency Dame Pearlette Louisy, Governor General Emerita of Saint Lucia, and Chair of the Nobel Laureate Festival Committee.
To sustain the significance of this legacy, Dame Pearlette said though the two Laureates work has been completed and they have gone to rest, “it is for us now to take up the torch and light up the way ahead building on the legacy of excellence that they have bequeathed us; breaking down barriers, breaching new frontiers, shattering glass ceilings, embracing new opportunities, creating new ideas and discovering new ways of doing and seeing things.”
Dame Pearlette adds that, “The Nobel Laureate Festival must go beyond celebrating the achievements of Sir Arthur and Sir Derek alone …and just as they built on the achievements of those who came before them, we too should build on what they have given us.”
While the two Laureates “has made us proud” as a Saint Lucian society with worldly acclaim, she said, “We need to consolidate that legacy.”
The NLFC chairperson said over the years, the public has been encouraged to join in and participate in the festival “as something that the whole nation should embrace and claim.”
Reiterating the call for more participation to recognize the magnitude and significance of the festival, Dame Pearlette welcomed the communities of Gros Islet, Babonneau, and Canaries “in our festival…and I look forward to the participation of all the other constituencies in our 2024 festival”.
“Let’s us all work on consolidating our legacy , so that those who come behind us will find us faithful , and be inspired and motivated to proudly pass on the baton of excellence , which our two laureates and so many more of Saint Lucia’s sons and daughters have placed in our capable …and willing hands,” asserted Dame Pearlette.
Corporate sponsors have provided invaluable contribution over the years to support the NLFC with its drive towards the promotion of a worthwhile venture, and the company representatives’ were on hand to express their pleasure for being involved in the activities.
Adding an extra spark to the proceedings to drive home the significance of this activity, Lucius Ellevic, General Manager of the Laborie Credit Union noted that “excellence is not just a skills-based phenomenon, but rather behavioural and attitudinal”.
He added: “Excellence is a mindset, a habit that inspires us to always do our best. This mindset also reminds us that there is always room at the top and so our efforts should be focused on reaching the top.”
Ellevic said citizens should be more conscious of the collective approach to remedy the ills within the communities and the country at large, in contrast to individual aspirations. Taking into context the attitudinal behaviours embedded in society, he added: “Where there is that general ethos, which seems to promote individualism as opposed to collectivism and thus undermine the ability of our nation to attain social cohesion.
“When we talk about economic growth and yet the people support, where we are living through a series of socio-economic process which divides our people into conflicting economic interest groups and thereby eroding spirits of community and togetherness.”
Ellevic noted: “The quest to address those issues and nurture the spirit of excellence in our people is the cause for which the Nobel Laureate Committee people strives.”
Bank of Saint Lucia (BOSL) has been a supportive sponsor for the past decade, and the BOSL representative sees this as a good partnership – initiative to honour the island’s two “outstanding sons of the soil.”
He added: “The achievements of our Nobel Laureates are a clear testament of our own potential, and showcasing their work as we are doing through this commendable initiative of the NLFC going along way in building the confidence of our young population.”
FLOW representative Anselm Mathurin described the accomplishments of Saint Lucia’s two Nobel Laureates as the “key pillars of our posterity”.
The St Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA) has come aboard to help the NLFC “expose our Nobel Laureates to more than just Saint Lucia …and not only to Saint Lucians at home and abroad,” said Delia Dolor, PR and NLFC Media Coordinator.
SLTA’s executive director, Lorine Charles- St Jules stated that the island’s two Laureates represents “our two most notable Saint Lucians, ever” and the festival presents an opportune time to “promote the destination , to promote the citizens , the products …and what we have to offer” on a wider global stage.