Will Johnson (left) receiving the PBCCG Prize from chairperson of the Prince Bernhard Culture Fund Caribbean Region Michèle Russel-Capriles.
SABA–Every two years the Board of the Prince Bernhard Culture Fund Caribbean Region PBCCG awards a prize on each of the six Dutch Caribbean islands in recognition of outstanding efforts in the fields of art, culture and nature. This year, William “Will” Stanley Johnson was bestowed with the 2017 PBCCG Prize on Saba.
On November 7, PBCCG chair Michèle Russel-Capriles travelled to Saba, accompanied by Board Secretary of the Prince Bernhard Fund in the Netherlands Thijs Tromp to bestow the honour on Johnson for his dedication to documenting and preserving the Saban way of life.
“We are especially impressed by the massive archive of photographs, audio recordings and documents that Will Johnson has collected throughout his life. This archive, and the many collections it contains, is precious as it tells the story of Saba’s past, its people, its development and their traditions. But Will has not left it at that. A prolific writer, Will has published a number of books about specific historical aspects and continues to write a regular newspaper column ‘Under the Sea Grape Tree’ about the history and culture of the three Windward Islands, with special emphasis on Saba,” the Prince Bernhard Fund stated.
It is this dedication to preserving and imparting knowledge about the unique and great history of Saba and its neighbouring islands that has earned Johnson the 2017 PBCCG prize.
The prize was awarded in the presence of Island Governor Jonathan Johnson, who also represents the PBCCG Board in Saba, Commissioner of Culture Rolando Wilson, Johnson’s family and close friends, as well as representatives of Saba organisations.
“It is the sincere hope of the Board of the PBCCG that this prize will also inspire young people to contribute to the collective memory of our islands,” it was stated.