Within the year-long celebrations for Saint Lucia’s 40th anniversary of independence falls the 2019 Nobel Laureate Festival. What’s particularly noteworthy is that this year, the Nobel Laureate Festival’s committee is also celebrating forty years since Sir Arthur Lewis won the Nobel Prize for economics. This year’s celebrations continue on the festival’s signature theme, “Celebrating Excellence”, focusing on the sub-theme “Forty Years On” and it may be the biggest observance yet. Activities will start on January 14 and continue through to the end of March 2019.
The 2019 Nobel Laureate Festival was officially launched on Wednesday with an introduction to most of the activities on the calendar of events. Chairperson of the committee, Dame Pearlette Lousiy, spoke of the importance of commemorating Sir Arthur Lewis and Sir Derek Walcott. She said: “There should not be a weakening of our pride in what our two accomplished sons have been able to achieve. Nobel Laureate Festival is not just simply honouring or celebrating the achievements of the two gentlemen. There is a second aspect to our celebration, and it is to give us an opportunity every year to celebrate excellence in our own achievements.”
Dame Pearlette advised that whether or not you are an economist like Sir Arthur or “a man of letters like Sir Derek”, the festival is meant to nurture the potential within all of us. The committee’s coordinator, Delia Dolor, revealed that some of the activities will focus on schools. The regular fixtures—the Sir Derek Walcott and Sir Arthur Lewis memorial lectures—are scheduled for January 22 and January 24, respectively. Antiguan Professor Gregson Davis of Duke University will speak to the theme “Built in the pictorial landscapes of Derek Walcott’s poetry and drama” for the first lecture.
The Saint Lucia National Archives Authority will host an exhibition to celebrate both the laureates and forty years of independence. It will open on Nobel Laureate Day, January 23, and is named “Saint Lucia’s Independence Forty Years On”. National archivist Margot Thomas said: “The exhibition will highlight the turbulent years prior to Independence . . . and the important developments during each of the four decades up to this point.”
A new addition to the festival is MeCurator Art Gallery’s exhibition which opens on January 17. (See page 14.) The STAR will also have a special issue on Saturday January 19 to commemorate Sir Arthur Lewis and Sir Derek Walcott, with exclusive interviews with friends and family who were acquainted with the two icons.
For details about scheduled events of the Nobel Laureate Festival, visit the Facebook page or this newspaper’s website.