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The National Library of Jamaica (NLJ) will present another in its Distinguished Lecture series on Sunday, September 21 with renowned Jamaican author, Olive Senior. The lecture will take place at the Institute of Jamaica (IOJ) Lecture Hall at 10-16 East Street at 2:00 p.m.; and is being hosted in association with the IOJ and the University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona, Western Jamaica Campus.
The lecture, titled Colón Man and the Panama Experience, is expected to be well supported as it focuses on the experience of Jamaicans and other West Indians who worked on the construction of the Panama Canal. Ms Senior’s lecture coincides with the centenary of the opening of the Panama Canal.
Ms. Senior’s research on the subject led her to write her newest book titled, “Dying to Better Themselves: West Indians and the building of the Panama Canal.” Ms Senior will be available to autograph the book, which will be available for sale at the event.
National Librarian/ Chief Executive Officer, NLJ, Winsome Hudson emphasised that the distinguished lecture series is in keeping with the mission of the National Library of Jamaica to facilitate access to Jamaica’s history and heritage. “With this lecture, the NLJ hopes to bridge the information gap about the historical interactions of Jamaica and Panama and highlight the ties that now bind these two countries,” Mrs. Hudson explained.
She expressed the hope that more Jamaicans will come to discover the contents of the resources at the NLJ, and with that, connect with their own culture and history; some of which was ferried back to Jamaica by our forefathers from Colón.
The Executive Director of the IOJ, Anne Marie Bonner said that the Institute is pleased to be associated with this lecture and launch of Ms Senior’s book on the Panama Canal. According to Ms Bonner, “like many Jamaicans, I have relatives who have made Panama their home and I’m proud of the contribution they have made to the development of Panama and its culture.”
“The UWI, Mona Western Jamaica Campus is honoured to collaborate with the National Library of Jamaica and the Institute of Jamaica in bringing Olive Senior’s distinguished lecture on the Panama Experience to the people of Jamaica in the East and in the West.,” Director of UWI Mona, Western Jamaica Campus, Dr. Luz Longsworth stated.
UWI, Mona Western Jamaica Campus will host the Western leg of the lecture on Wednesday October 1, at 5:30 p.m.