1st Annual Edward Oliver Leblanc Distinguished Lecture
The Gilded Mango: Culture, Livelihoods and Development in Dominica’.
That was the topic for the 1st ever Edward Oliver LeBlanc Distinguished Lecture, held at the Fort Young Hotel on Thursday October 4th, 2012.
Dr. Alwin Bully was the distinguished lecturer at the event. He is a cultural administrator, playwright and director.
Dr. Bully says he would like us to think of our culture as a ripe, juicy mango, born from a huge tree whose roots run deep to the far corners of the earth.
It was this mango that E.O. LeBlanc recognized in the 1950’s as the fruit of choice to sustain the healthy growth and sustainable development of an island nation like ours, in the middle of the 20th century.
Dr. Bully gave an interesting story of how the West Coast Highway became to be named after Mr. Edward Oliver LeBlanc.
Around 1965 Dominica was well ahead of the rest of the Caribbean by creating new musical styles.
In the 1970’s, he says the diminishing Dominican population was unable to sustain the 18 bands that existed in Dominica at the height of the Music Era.
After 34 years of Independence he asks what is the product that we now hold in our hands and call it our culture, and how close is it to what E.O Leblanc wanted when he started the first National Day in 1965.
He says our National Day Celebrations was meant for that very purpose.
Dr. Bully says Edward Oliver LeBlanc was an intellectual, a visionary and a man of culture, and besides the difficult decisions he had to make, he always put the country and people first, and it is for this he has the right to be called ‘father of the nation”.