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Dr Adams honoured at National Literary Fair

Dr Adams honoured at National Literary Fair


For his sterling contribution to literary arts in St Vincent and the Grenadines, historian Dr Edgar Adams was presented with the first ever lifetime achievement award in literature at the official opening ceremony of the inaugural National Literary Fair at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Open Campus grounds, Richmond Hill.{{more}}

The launch, a joint effort of the UWI and the Vincentian Association of Artists, Writers and Producers Inc on Tuesday, October 16, was held under the theme “Celebrating our own”.

The 80-year-old stalwart was presented with a medal and a plaque by René Baptiste, president of the Vincentian Association of Artists, Writers and Producers Inc.

Reading the citation, Cecil ‘Blazer’ Williams listed some of Dr Adams’ accomplishments over the years.

In his early years, Adams developed a penchant for the arts, mainly drama and dancing. In London, England, Adams joined the West Indian Student Union dance and drama society, where he performed at various venues.

Upon his return to this country in 1962, Adams immersed himself into the cultural life of the country. He founded the Eddy Adams Dance Troop and participated in a number of art workshops here and abroad.

Adams also wrote a number of skits and in honour of his father’s memory as a boat builder, he wrote a book on the history of boat building in St Vincent and the Grenadines. However, he said he failed to find sponsors for his book, “Linking the golden anchor with the chain”, which was published in 1995.

That setback, however, did not daunt Adams’ ambition, as he released his second book, “Coming home for Christmas”.

The ink in Adams’ pen was far from dry as he went on to write other short stories and books.

Adams recently presented a paper in Venezuela on the African presence and influence of the cultural traditions of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

In accepting his award, Adams said he is a man of few words, but a man who writes down a lot of things.

“In writing 14 books so far, I think I have used up quite a bit of the English language…There is still a lot to be used up and I’m encouraging those persons who haven’t started as yet to begin writing…,” beseeched Adams.

Adams thanked God for his “glorious mercies” towards him and for enabling him to do the work he’s done over the years. He also thanked relatives and close friends who assisted him over the years.

Sharing brief remarks, Ronnie Daniel of the UWI Open Campus said the new venture is an attempt to reclaim and proclaim that authentic Vincentian spirit. He said this country’s history is characterised by courage, a spirit of self-determination, pride and a creative mind.

Delivering brief remarks, Deborah Dalrymple, head of the UWI Open Campus SVG, said the fair is a fulfilment of a dream by the staff of UWI Open campus.

She told persons gathered that over the past year, the Open Campus has offered training in two areas: theatre arts and understanding music theory and practice.

She noted that the theme is particularly relevant as this country celebrates its 33rd anniversary of independence.

“So often we celebrate and promote that which is foreign to us, but spare not a thought or a glance to what is truly ours…,” Dalrymple said.

Dalrymple said our cultural heritage embodies our writings, paintings, songs, dances, folklore and other forms of expression who tell us who we are.

Aldia Gumbs-Dyer, Senior Education Officer in the Ministry of Education, said as this country commemorates its 33rd anniversary of independence, it is important that we celebrate our own.

Head of UWI Open Campus Trinidad and Tobago Joan Bobb-Dann said the festival underscores the Open Campus’ commitment to service and relevance.

Bobb-Dann added that the venture sits comfortably within the outreach initiative of the University of the West Indies.

Entertainment was provided by the Barrouallie Garifuna Dancers and drummers, the C.W. Prescod steel band and a rendition on the steel pan by Jomoro Francis.

The fair climaxed yesterday with dramatic arts training, a book and visual exhibition and an evening with the arts.(KW)