A National Treasure has left us
by Rene M. Baptiste CMG
Former Minister of
A National Treasure has left us. No more story-telling. No more performances of poetry. No more quick consultations. I knew Doc Adams as he was affectionately called since I was 12 years old. He fitted me into my first pair of glasses.
Then I learnt so much more from him. He regaled me with stories about Harbour Club and Seaview Hotel; whilst I playfully teased him about Fish Net Restaurant and the Tavern Guest House in Kingstown Park. He was a Carnival man too. He was a dancer. He was a Poet.
Doc Adams was a prolific writer. He authored several books, short stories and poems, reflections on the socio-economic, cultural and political life of his native St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Among them was “Coming Home for Christmas”, “Linking the Golden Anchor with the Silver Chain”, “Digging for gold and other short stories”, “Nine Mornings”, Mock Hangings”, “Sunset Tomorrow”, “People on the Move”, “National Treasures”, “Historic Kingstown”, “St. Vincent in the History of the Carib Nation”, “The St. Vincent Botanical Gardens”, “Fact and Comments on Calliaqua and Adjourning Areas”, A historical travelogue” and “The Carib Country Sugar Estates and Georgetown”.
The remarkable thing is that Doc did not “study” History, Social Science nor Economics, rather he was a student of several disciplines. He also wrote about what he had lived. His poetry drew on the morals of life and living; He had such a great grasp of the English Language. He never failed to make use of the varied talents of his wide circle of friends. Among them Mrs. Marcia Harold – Hinds, Mr. Albert Jus Edwards, Mr. Henry Gaymes, Mr. Lennox Lewis, Mrs. Norma Keizer, Mr. Alban Henry, and Mrs Elsa Velox who provided the artistic design for the covers of a few of his books, and several others who all contributed to his wide body of works. When I served as Minister of Tourism and Minister of Culture he was the go-to-man for staff in the Planning and Researching Departments. He was our (informal) Consultant.
Doc Adams featured prominently at the Havana Book Fair in 2011, 2013 and 2014. He was a permanent fixture at our UWI and Vincentian Association of Artists, Writers and Producers (VAAMWP) National Literary Fair displaying the largest and widest collection of books, magazines, maps and newspapers on many facets of Vincentian life. He also a leading delegate of CARIFESTA and was lauded for collection of Vincentian literary works.
He has made a magnificent contribution to our literary fabric which in my view is unmatched to date. It represents a mixed bag of “things” he always told us. The Vincentian Association of Artists, writers and producers (VAAMWP) bestowed on him the First Ever Lifetime Achievement Award for History and Poetry at the UWI National Literacy Fair – SVG Book Fair in October 2012.
Thank you Doc, you are irreplaceable. Rest in Peace.