At the club we were recruiting volunteers for no fewer than nine club committees, webmaster Louis Bourque recording the event as it happened by means of a live blog. Carol and Elva had prepared some bottles of self-brewed wine for the club's Golden Jubilee year.
It was clear from the book (which I'd studied so carefully during its creation) that the people of the Caribbean countries absolutely revere their mothers, and the speakers I heard reinforced that impression. I arrived during Dr Robert Moore's reflections—born in Guyana, he is the author of one of the chapters—and also heard the High Commissioner for the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, Excellency Michael Smith, read aloud what he had written about his mother, Cynthia. I remembered every word, but it was a moving experience for me to hear the essay read by the author himself, with the audience nodding in agreement and appreciation of his words or chuckling at the humorous touches. A French speaking lady from Haiti, Ghislaine Narcisse, read out her contribution as well, and Dr Shirley Brathwaite read extracts from three more chapters from the compilation.
The Barbadian High Commissioner and his wife, Fran
- photo by Lois Siegel of the Ottawa Citizen
A reception followed with hot and spicy Caribbean savouries, but first the speakers at the event had to have their photo taken, and I was asked to be in the photo too, standing beside my Barbadian friend who had brought all this about. I don't think she had the chance to partake of many refreshments; she was too busy signing copies of her book for the people who had bought them.