Virgin Islands Author To Launch Childhood Memoir Of Life On Virgin Gorda.

Photo: Virgin Islands Public information service.
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Hildegarde Flax-Shaw, will be in Virgin Gorda launching her book titled, ‘Sharing a Fly Wing – A Memoir of Growing Up on Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands” on Saturday April 13. The price of the book is not yet available.

In this deeply personal account, Mrs. Flax-Shaw, reminisces on her childhood and teenaged experiences, while growing up in the traditional Virgin Islands culture and values of more than 50 years ago.

Hildegarde Flax-Shaw was born on the island of Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands, but has lived most of her life in the United States after she moved there to go to college.

She has worked in various capacities in the nursing profession for the last fifty years and regards it as the “passion” of her life. She says with great conviction that she would not have done anything else with her life!

 “Sharing A Fly Wing,” which is a memoir of her days as a young girl living on an undeveloped Virgin Gorda. The intriguing title of her book is also a tribute to her mother, Eda Flax, now deceased, who taught her and her siblings the importance of sharing everything even though it were as small as a “fly wing.”

She encourages readers to, “Come with me on a nostalgic journey to Virgin Gorda, the land of my birth…a different land…a different time…one without automobiles, electricity, and any form of [modern] technology.”

“Everyone lived in complete harmony with each other. Stroll with me through the moonlit nights of that place that once was so perfect, it could be remembered as our utopia. You will not want to miss this adventure,” Mrs. Flax-Shaw recounts.

According to the author, the text also pays tribute to her parents, teachers, ancestors, and culture bearers. Chapters include “Mother-isms”, “Declining Customs”, and “Protected Areas of Interest”, which portray and preserves a range of themes that embrace the traditional customs of Virgin Gorda, and by extension, the Virgin Islands to the benefit of future generations.

Meanwhile, Director of Culture, Dr. Katherine Smith said the value of this genre of writing is that readers are provided with a first-hand account of the author’s experiences.

“This is often the rich socio-cultural description that is often missing from historical records,” she said.

Dr. Smith added, “Of course, the more we are able to hear from our Sister Islands, the more accurate and balanced our understanding of our history. Increasingly, a common traditional cultural experience is being unveiled across the Virgin Islands.”

Persons are encouraged to attend the launch on Saturday April 13, at the Flax Administration Building conference room in Virgin Gorda at 10:00 a.m.

The Department of Culture continues to promote the contributions of local authors, and the Virgin Islands’ cultural heritage and traditions.

For more information about the Department of Culture’s book launch programme, persons can contact the department at 468-4379.

Source: Virgin Islands Government Information Service.
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