(PRESS RELEASE) – The Road to Mount Pleasant: Selected essays on Saint Lucian Culture in honour of Msgr. Patrick Anthony, PhD, SLC on his 70th birthday was launched at the FRC on Tuesday November 7th 2017.
A packed Msgr. Patrick Anthony Folk Research Centre auditorium was headed by Her Excellency Dame Pearlette Louisy and various members of the diplomatic corps, who joined with St. Lucians from all walks of life to celebrate the publication and launch of this valuable book.
The Road to Mount Pleasant, is compiled and edited by John Robert Lee, St. Lucian writer, who is the FRC’s Publications Editor and Embert Charles, the first Executive Director of the FRC.
Its publication is made possible by the generous financial support of the Ministry of Culture, Mrs. Charmaine Gardner, the Jubilee Trust Fund and FLOW. It is designed by Viannie Aimable and printed by the National Printing Corporation.
The book launch featured remarks by the Deputy Chairman of the FRC Mr. Sylvester Dickson and Mr. Terry Finisterre of FLOW. Kwéyòl poems were presented by Alcess Ismael and George Goddard. A video presentation was made by Dr. Didacus Jules, a founding member of the FRC and present Director General of the OECS. In his address Dr. Jules reviewed the history and beginnings of the FRC and offered proposals for the future development of the 44 year old institution.
Copies were presented to sponsors and contributors by Ms. Juliana Prospere, a director of the FRC Board.
In a vote of thanks Msgr. Anthony presented copies of the new book to three of his young relatives, thanked all those who had made the publication possible and encouraged the FRC to seek new and younger membership to continue the work of the FRC.
In his introduction to the book, co-editor Embert Charles writes that:
“The articulation of the issues of dynamism and goals of development in the St. Lucian National Cultural Policy mirrored the initial objectives of the Folk Research Centre which was established in 1973, soon after the ordination of Patrick Angus Butcher “Paba” Anthony into the Catholic priesthood. It was no coincidence that the Folk Research Centre and to some extent Paba himself were involved in the development of the policy, but importantly have been engaged very actively in research, documentation and promotion of Saint Lucian culture. He celebrated his 70th birthday on August 6th 2017 and the publication of this collection of essays is a tribute to his life as cultural missionary and the embodiment of the project towards building of a Caribbean civilization.
The collection, which by no means is presented as a comprehensive study of Saint Lucian culture, does attempt to provide some facts and thoughts on the various aspects of the traditional and contemporary life of the Saint Lucian people.”
The contributors are all well-known and recognized for their contribution to the research and documentation of Saint Lucian culture. They are: Msgr. Patrick A.B. Anthony himself, Lindy Ann Alexander, George ‘Fish’ Alphonse, Charles Cadet, Embert Charles, McDonald Dixon, George Goddard, Kendel Hippolyte, Alcess Ismael, Dr. Kentry JnPierre, Marcian W.E. Jean-Pierre, Dr. Didacus Jules, John Robert Lee, Dame Pearlette Louisy, Vladimir Lucien, Dr. Anthea Octave, Professor Gordon Rohlehr, Kennedy Samuel, Harold Simmons 1914-1966, Profes
sor Hazel Simmons-McDonald, Professor Karl R. Wernhart.
The subjects range from essays by Msgr. Anthony on the role of culture, the Kèlè ceremony, Popular Catholicism and the art work of the late Sir Dunstan St. Omer – to researched writing by other writers on culture and development, the Kwéyòl language, Jounen Kwéyòl, the Flower Festivals, St. Lucian folklore, St. Lucian calypso. As well, a number of St. Lucian poets are included, with poems in English and Kwéyòl.
The cover illustration is titled “Mr. Wo-Wo” and is the work of the late artist and cultural hero Dunstan St. Omer (1927-2015).
FRC’s Executive Director Hilary La Force believes that this latest FRC publication will be a valuable information, study and research source for students, researchers and visitors who are desirous of learning more about various aspects of Saint Lucian culture. Ms. Floreta Nicholas, Chairperson of the FRC, writes in the book’s Foreword, “My hope is that this handbook to Saint Lucian Culture, recording as it does, “The Road to Mount Pleasant,” the home of the FRC and all it represents, would become required reading for all interested in our life and culture, and above all, for our young Saint Lucians.”
Copies of the new book are now on sale at the FRC Bookshop. It sells at $60.00 and will make a good Christmas gift.