As the year marking the STAR’s triple-decade milestone comes to an end, there was no better acknowledgement than recognition from the National Archives Authority of Saint Lucia. Mrs. Margot Thomas, our local National Archivist, could not have chosen a more auspicious time to award Rick Wayne and Star Publishing Company for years of hard work and weekly contributions of newspapers for documentation among other deserving contributors in varying genres.
The affair was commemorated on Saint Cecilia’s Day, the feast of musicians, on Wednesday, November 22, 2017, as the National Archives Authority launched its Music and Entertainment Archives, a subset of the already existing Sound Archives. With this being the main event, local musicians, composers, singers and music producers gathered at the National Archives Authority in Vigie, Castries to commemorate this historical and propitious occasion. In the near past, many musicians and vocalists have gone to their last resting place: Dame Sesenne Descartes, Frank Norville, Petronilla Deterville and Athanasius Laborde, among others. But, according to Mrs. Thomas, “The question facing us today is whether we captured their voices when they were alive or whether they moved on without us having preserved their sounds and their works. If we did not do so then their voices are lost to us forever.”
A number of speakers at Wednesday’s event highlighted instances where records in bounty were lost or dumped, unable to ever be recovered. Information such as the first local advertisements, radio shows and recordings were
mentioned as well as missed opportunities to record live performances of cultural, musical art forms.
The work begins for the National Archives Authority of Saint Lucia to now source, as much as is permitted, memories and records of those prominent musicians and events. The new archive will also encourage living artists to submit their own work for posterity. By launching the Music and Entertainment Archives, Margot Thomas says that the National Archives Authority will be “laying the groundwork to secure, for present and future generations, the creative and inspirational output of Saint Lucians in the field of music with its varying and noteworthy genres”.
Musicians were recognized while some performed at the ceremony, and many gave their donations to the Music and Entertainment Archives in the form of CDs, concert flyers, written biographies or posters. The remaining attendees and musicians who were unable to attend promised to bring their donation in the near future. A musician himself in a past life, Rick Wayne will be donating copies of his music to the Music and Entertainment Archives.
The STAR newspaper and The Mirror were awarded for similar contributions to the National Archives Authority. On behalf of Rick and Mae Wayne, their son Christian Wayne received the award, suggesting further collaboration between Star Publishing Company and the National Archives Authority by expanding the contents of the STAR’s donations. Harold George received recognition for decades of producing and preserving radio entertainment, along with Radio Caribbean International past librarian, Mary Laurencin for exceptional service in the music industry. Ronald ‘Boo’ Hinkson’s outstanding musical contributions were also acknowledged.