School writing competition winners cut ribbon to open Book Fair 2018 | THE DAILY HERALD

Prize winners of the Don’t Break the Comb Letter and Essay Writing Competition performing Friday’s opening-ribbon cutting ceremony for the sixteenth annual St. Martin Book Fair at Motorworld’s Showroom in Cole Bay with Conscious Lyrics Foundation president Shujah Reiph (second left) and Motorworld representative Tariq Amjad (second right). (John van Kerkhof photo)

Fabian Adekunle Badejo during the launch of his “Fantasies – Love-making Poems.” (John van Kerkhof photo)

Motorworld’s Showroom was filled for the Book Fair’s opening ceremony. (John van Kerkhof photo)


COLE BAY–In previous years St. Martin Book Fair opening ceremonies were held at for instance Princess Juliana Airport and Dr. A.C. Wathey Cruise and Cargo Facility, the sixteenth annual Book Fair was opened Friday evening at Motorworld’s showroom in Cole Bay. The ribbon-cutting ceremony to declare the two-day Book Fair open was performed by primary school winners of the Letter and Essay Writing Competition organized by Don’t Break the Comb (DBC)

Teachers and students of all participating schools, and the prize winners and their families were invited by DBC to the opening ceremony. Before a capacity crowd at the state-of-the-art showroom, the prize winners performed the ribbon-cutting honours for this year’s Fair, themed “A Book Fair for the Entire Family,” alongside a young author who was also invited to be part of the ceremony.

St. Maarten Seventh-Day Adventist School’s Makeela Isaac won first place in the primary school letter division. Nicholas Russo and Charriol Halley of St. Maarten Montessori School tied for second-place.

The winner in the high school essay division is Vanessa Saint-Hilaire of St. Dominic High School. Amoya Menzie of St. Maarten Academy academic division placed second.

Head teacher at St. Maarten Montessori School Marianne Tefft won the teacher’s division, with fourth-grade teacher at Methodist Agogic Centre Tracy Holness in second place.

The island-wide writing competition linking hair care, self-esteem, and school pride was organized by Don’t Break the Comb (DBC), the natural hair lifestyle brand of which Rochelle “Faizah” Ward is the owner.

Both students and teachers of schools from both parts of the island were eligible to participate in the writing competition.

“I was pleased with the turnout from the schools. The letters and essays were quite enjoyable to read. Congratulations to the winners. Many thanks to the participants,” said Ward.

Moderated by Rhoda Arrindell, the opening ceremony consisted of speeches by Prime Minister Leona Marlin-Romeo, Conscious Lyrics Foundation president Shujah Reiph, University of St. Martin President Antonio Carmona Baéz and Motorworld representative Tariq Amjad.

The programme further consisted of a guitar recital by recording artiste Lililita Johnson (St. Maarten/USA), also known as “Lyrical Lynn,” and literary readings by novelist Doris Dumabin from Guadeloupe and by award-winning novelist, journalist, playwright and short-story writer Earl Lovelace. The 82-year-old literary icon charmed and entertained the crowd by reading a very comical excerpt from his novel Is Just a Movie, which was published in 2012.

Main elements of the opening ceremony were a keynote address by award-winning novelist and short-story writer and human rights advocate Edwige Danticat titled “Stay Creole Only.”

The author from Haiti and the United States, winner of the USA’s National Book Critics Circle Award for autobiography, made in her address a plea for the creolization of the Caribbean.

The evening was closed off with the launch of Fabian Adekunle Badejo’s Fantasies – Love-making Poems by House of Nehesi Publishers in which the author, radio host and former news director is not mincing his words in matters of love, physical attraction and sexuality.

The sensual poetry of Fantasies was conceived in the aftermath of Hurricane Lenny in 1999 but only appeared in print nine months after Hurricane Irma struck St. Maarten in September 2017, and on the same date that the Atlantic Hurricane Season officially started. Badejo read several poems from his book but left the X-rated ones to the reader.

Source: The Daily Herald