Noted Caribbean Historian Lennox Honeychurch
February 17, 2009
Noted Caribbean historian from Dominica Dr. Lennox Honychurch, told 5 and 6th Form students of the Charlestown Secondary School (CSS) at a lecture on Tuesday at the Red Cross Building entitled “Changing Cultures Changing Attitudes – The occupation of St. Kitts and Nevis through the ages”, that it they learnt about the place where they lived and why certain things were the way they were, they would have a better understanding of their community.
“I know it is difficult say when there are the temptations of the television and one does not want to say forget the outside world its wrong. What you have to do is develop good judgment to know what is best for you and appreciate the country that has given you birth and the country in which you live.
“If you don’t appreciate it, you will get frustrated and you will just want either to live an alternative lifestyle and sink yourself in drugs and think that there is no hope or else you will pick up and leave – yes its ok to leave for a while but really, you are just leaving a community you could be contributing to,” Dr. Honychurch said.
The lecture formed part of a week of activities for History and Heritage Week which was launched on Sunday. The week was organised by the Brimstone Hill Society in partnership with the Nevis Historical and Conservation Society and supported by the Ministry of Social Development in the Nevis Island Administration. The theme is “Our Heritage, Our Environment, Our people ““ Reclaiming Our Roots”.
The week will serve to promote and stimulate greater awareness of and involvement by the citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis in the island’s history and heritage.
The History students study from a textbook entitled “The Caribbean People” authored by Dr. Honychurch and in an unplanned move prior to the lecture had him autograph their books. In reaction Dr. Honychurch said public interest in his books was rewarding.
“I think that it is perhaps the greatest reward of all to see people who are interested and to see their response. It’s not only here in Nevis its when I go to St. Lucia, St. Vincent or Grenada and do these things and of course within Dominica in the different communities.
“It is a two way thing – yes I give a lecture but then I learn a lot particular in communities from older people who add to what I say. So it is really in that I get my satisfaction. For anybody involved in culture and heritage in any of these islands it really is a labour of love and a great deal of sacrifice. Many times there are not jobs associated with it but I find it very rewarding when this kind of response comes forward,” he said.
Meantime, History teacher at the CSS Mrs. Judith Gumbs told the Department of Information at the end of the session that the lecture was a comprehensive one.
“I think it was a very comprehensive review of the history from 1st Form to 5th Form and I think it was really, really full of information in the limited time that he [Dr. Honychurch] had. It was wonderful.
“I think the lecture was received by the students wonderfully well. I think they would have benefitted tremendously from this experience,” she said.