NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (November 14, 2022) — Primary and secondary school students on Nevis will have the opportunity to learn more about life on Nevis in the 1940s to the 1960s thanks to a donation of books entitled “Beyond The Bush & More” written by Mr. Hanzel Manners of Hull Ground in Gingerland.
The 14 books were presented to Ms. Zahnela Claxton, Principal Education Officer at the Department of Education on November 10, 2022, for distribution of one copy to each primary school. Mr. Manners described the contents of his publication.
“I would venture to think that it is interesting and very readable. It has been written with that in mind so that people would enjoy the read. The book is about Nevis and it comes in three sections. The first section is a very important section; it is Nevis as it was in the 1940s to the 1960s. I was born in 1944 so it’s the way Nevis was when I was a little boy growing up. The second section is about poems and songs, all my creations written over time, and the third section is a personal story of mine. It describes amusingly and some people say very touchingly, my journey from being a teacher which I was for 13 years.
“I don’t know if you know I was a trained teacher. I’m always proud to bring that in, my journey from being a teacher to a chartered accountant, and I think the book has educational value so one reason I decided to present a copy to each primary school and each secondary school on the island, and I’m told that amounts for 14 copies, and the reason for this is, as I said, I think it has educational value. It’s good for the young people to know how it was when they were not yet born,” he said.
The Gingerland native spoke of the importance of documenting the island’s history through the eyes of Nevisians.
“I say in the introduction to my book that we, the older ones, have a duty to pass our stories on and I’m pleased to think that is what I am doing in this section. The second reason is that I assume that the school children would not be in a position to buy this book. It sells at $50 per copy… The third reason is that I want to encourage reading, and I trust that it would encourage people to read; and the last reason is that I want to encourage writing. We have quite a few local people who have come forward to tell their story and this is a good example of that,” he said.
In her response to the donation Ms. Claxton thanked Mr. Manners, while expressing that the gift is a worthwhile one for the students.
“We hope that the students can learn a lot about our past, a lot about our culture in a way that would resonate with them and be meaningful. It is always a struggle within education to find culturally relevant materials, text that speak to our culture and our students can also identify with and so this will be of great value as we look at our enhanced curriculum and our thrust towards reading and writing, allowing our students to write.
“In fact we focus on the writing process. We are happy to hear that you take them through the writing process with the ultimate goal being publishing, and publishing for a student might mean writing it out on a folder leaf and sticking it up on the wall but it is publishing nonetheless and we hope that this will inspire them to go beyond and to publish their materials as well for the public to be able to consume. So thank you Mr. Manners, and it is always a good thing when our people are able to give back and to support the work of education and so we appreciate this contribution,” she said.
Also present was Ms. Londa Brown, Assistant Principal Education Officer in the Department of Education.