John Robert Lee routinely shares happenings on the Caribbean literary scene – you’ll remember he was the one who compiled this Caribbean bibliography. His note about Derek Walcott’s knighthood, among the first under St. Lucia’s knighthood system, came in to my mailbox in late February 2016. That I’m only just now getting around to posting it doesn’t reduce its significance. Here’s his note re Sir Derek and the other new Knights and Dames. – JCH
Yesterday (February 28th), in Castries, Derek Walcott was invested with the Knight Commander of St. Lucia (KCSL) and now can be called “Sir Derek.”
Vaughn Lewis, Professor Emeritus of UWI, nephew of Sir Arthur Lewis, former Prime Minister, also received one of the new knighthoods.
One new Dame was invested, Lawrence Laurent, graduate of UWI, former school principal, actress and former Director General of the local Unesco Office.
Harold Simmons (1914-1966), mentor of the young Walcott and Dunstan St. Omer (eulogised in Another Life (1972) received a posthumous St. Lucia Cross,up to now St. Lucia’s highest national honour, for his seminal and pioneering work in arts and culture, anthropology, history, archaeology, cooperatives, journalism, from the forties to sixties.
The Governor General is Dame Pearlette Louisy, UWI Graduate, educator, kweyol linguistics specialist, former principal of the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, and involved with the arts and culture.