Nobel Laureate Week

Derek Walcoott and Dame Pearlette at the launch.

There were loads of exciting revelations to be made at the press launch of Nobel Laureate week held on Tuesday, January 17 at Government House. Master of proceedings for the event was Michael Fontenelle who took the gathering through the extensive list of activities for Nobel Laureate Week 2012, which will be celebrated this year under the theme ‘Celebrating Excellence: Appreciating Our Past; Charting Our Future.’
Governor General and chair of the Nobel Laureate Committee Dame Pearlette Louisy welcomed all to the launch noting the island had been celebrating the achievements of its two eminent sons Sir Arthur Lewis and Derek Walcott for the past 19 years. It was the hope of the island’s governor general to ensure the celebration and remembrance of their achievements was
lasting.
“Every year we try to find innovative and creative ways to bring the celebration to the attention of the populace, not just locally but further afield,” the governor general said. “We have used the theme celebrating excellence as the key element in the week of activities, but every year we change the sub theme and after much deliberation we choose ‘Celebrating Excellence, Appreciating Our Past, Charting Our Future.’
The opening ceremony for Nobel Laureate week will be staged at the National Cultural Centre on Sunday, January 22 from 6pm under the theme:  ‘The Creative and Performing Arts:  A Celebration.’ Activities forming part of Nobel Laureate Week 2012 include lectures, concerts, exhibitions, award ceremonies and other competitions. The finals of the Schools’ Choir Competition that includes schools like St Joseph’s Convent, St Mary’s College, SDA (for the first time), Leon Hess and Bocage in the secondary schools category will be showcased on Monday, January 23 at the National Cultural Centre.
Jason Joseph from CAMDU told the gathering: “The human voice is the best instrument we have. In the absence of instruments and resources we all have our voices. The choir competition is intended to promote choral singing and have students reach that level of excellence. Students are required to perform a test piece and a piece of their own choosing. We started in November with the preliminary rounds where we went around to the various schools.”
The National Awards of Excellence will be held on Tuesday, January 24 at the National Cultural Centre from 10am.  According to Anthony Felicien from the education ministry the occasion will be one to celebrate the many successes in education. Top performers in local and regional examinations, competitions within schools and other noteworthy students will be honoured at the function.
Students who will be recognized include top performers in CSEC Amanie Mathurin from Vieux Fort Comprehensive who placed second for English A and fourth for English B in 2011, Gernic soudine from St Joseph’s Convent; sixth, Food and Nutrition, Gabriella Fontinelle from Vieux Fort Secondary; eighth, Social Studies, Riaan weekes from Leon Hess Comprehensive; ninth, Theatre Arts, Yun Qianli and Verrcil Mathurin from Vieux Fort Comprehensive who tied for fourth place in Office Administration. Williams Mon Louis from Soufriere Comprehensive also performed exceptionally in the area of Agriculture, as did Jarnikae Wilson from St Mary’s College who ranked sixth in History, second in Accounts, first in HSB, second in Chemistry, fourth in Economics, first in Information Technology and fourth in Physics in the Caribbean.
A host of local television stations will air special Nobel Laureate features including NTN’s entitled: ‘The Nobel Lewis: A look at the life, work and the continuing impact of Sir William Arthur Lewis.’ Exhibitions will be seen in the form of ‘Fidjay Labowi: An exhibition of a decade of painting excellence’ by Jonathan Gladding at Rudy John Beach in Laborie on Friday, January 20. Lectures include the annual Derek Walcott lecture “Caribbean Poetry and freedom” presented by professor Christian Campbell at the Bay Gardens Hotel from 7:30pm as well as the Sir Arthur Lewis Memorial “St Lucia’s survival options” presented by Dr Didicus Jules also at Bay Gardens Hotel on Thursday, January 26 from 7:30pm.
Margot Thomas, who was present at this week’s launch, took the press through the National Archives’ launching of an initiative entitled ‘Preserving Our Heritage-Let’s Save Our Manuscripts.’ The activity targets St Lucian writers and aims to preserve the work of authors according to Thomas “from the time they begin with a blank page all the way through to finished the finished manuscript.”
“There is historical significance in all of their work from start to completion,” Thomas explained. “We want to make a plea to authors to donate those pieces to the archives rather than leave them to be thrown away.”
The activity at National Archives will be held on Wednesday, January 25 and authors receive a special certificate upon making a donation to the National Registry of Authors.
The Derek Walcott Schools’ Theatre Arts Festival will be staged at the National Cultural Center on Thursday, January 26 from 1pm. January 27th holds the wreath laying ceremony at Sir Arthur Lewis Community College and a tribute to the laureate “Repertoire” by St Mary’s College at the National Cultural Centre from 7pm.
Saturday, January 28 will be quite an exciting occasion featuring the annual St Lucia Business Awards at Sandals Grande St Lucian Resort and Spa at 8pm and “Dance Mirage” by the Silver Shadows Performing Arts at the National Cultural Center from 8pm. There will
also be an evening of Literacy Performances in Dennery from 8pm on January 28.
More on Nobel Laureate Week in our Saturday STAR!

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