Logos Hope has arrived in Vieux Fort, Saint Lucia after a five-day voyage from The Bahamas.
The visit marks a return, as the book ship only left the island seven weeks ago. On that port call to the capital, Castries, the ship “generated a lot of interest among the citizens, in particular the children,” said the island’s minister of education, sustainable development, innovation, science, technology and vocational training, Shawn Edward.
Logos Hope’s director hosted the government guest and other dignitaries as they officially opened the bookfair to the public. This is the 18th visit of one of the organisation’s ships to Saint Lucia, and is a call in the home port of one crewmember who only recently joined the ship, having been inspired when Logos Hope docked in Vieux Fort in 2017.
The city’s mayor, Cyril Saltibus, said he was delighted to welcome Logos Hope for a fourth time and told the audience he is “looking forward to the smiles on the faces of the many visitors who will enjoy their visit on board the vessel, with a chance to secure a wide range of reading material not otherwise accessible on our island.” Mayor Saltibus described the book ship as an ambassador of knowledge and said it was important, since “reading is becoming a dying pastime, even if it is a lifelong necessity.”
The minister for education, Shawn Edward, thanked Logos Hope's crew for having chosen Saint Lucia once again, especially at a time when many schools are closed because of coronavirus restrictions. He encouraged parents in Vieux Fort to bring their children to get reading material. Mr Edward said, “It is no secret that the world is rapidly moving into the realm of digitalisation, where every child carries 10, 15, 20 textbooks or pieces of literature on a tablet – but nothing can replace the feel of having a book in hand.”
The crew will share knowledge through offering quality discount literature from the onboard bookfair until 27 October. They also aim to bring help and hope to the area of Vieux Fort through prayer stations in the city, helping with children’s activities and visits to prisons.