The launch of the 2019 Nobel Laureate Festival
Monday, January 14, 2019
by Anicia Antoine, GIS

Saint Lucians will once again gather to celebrate the 26th Nobel Laureate Festival highlighting the achievements of Sir Arthur Lewis (Economics, 1979) and Sir Derek Walcott (Literature, 1992).

Per capita, Saint Lucia is the second country in the world with the most Nobel Prize winners.

The theme for this year is “Celebrating Excellence: 40 Years On.” Her Excellency, Dame Pearlette Louisy, has been the Chair of the Nobel Laureate Committee for the past 19 years. She explained that along with the continuing theme, “Celebrating Excellence,” the sub-theme, “40 Years On,” not only brings into focus Saint Lucia’s Nobel laureates, but also the combined achievements of the country after 40 years of independence.

“This year, the 40th year of Independence is also the 40th year since Sir Arthur Lewis received the Nobel Prize for Economics, so that is why we have incorporated independence celebrations into our theme,” Dame Pearlette said. “While we are celebrating the Nobel Laureates, the festival does not simply honor the achievements of the two gentlemen, but also to gives us an opportunity to celebrate excellence in our own achievements and to nurture the potential that is within all of us.”

The activities for the 2019 Nobel Laureate Festival include an open house for students at Walcott House, an arts exhibition, and the Saint Mary’s College Literary Night. Each year, the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College (SALCC) takes charge of the wreath laying ceremony as well as the memorial lecture.

This year, students of the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College will be performing an original dramatic piece titled “Echenum.”

“In the piece, the students explore depression and suicide which are some of the issues that afflict today's society. This is an effort to help young people confront those, and similar issues,” explained SALCC lecturer, Nathalie Jolie-Fanis.

She is hoping that the public will come out to support the production, as this is the second year that students of the college have written and produced their own dramatic presentation.

Nobel Laureate month was launched on Jan. 9. The official observance began on Jan. 13 with a church service and breakfast at the Mount of Prayers, Coubaril.