By John Denny Observer Reporter
johndenny@thestkittsnevisobserver.com (Charlestown, Nevis) ” For those looking to brush up on their Federation independence history, the Nevis Public Library has a number of select titles on the subject and a helpful staff to assist in one’s pursuit of their island past. There are also a number of archived newspaper articles from the time of independence that are slated to be part of an independence exhibit that is tentatively scheduled to begin the week before the anniversary, according to Apprentice Librarian Anatasia Parris. Also at the exhibition will be a range of flags that have flown over the Federation, including a rare Leeward Island flag. Unfortunately, the library does not have a copy of the Associated Statehood flag that flew in the times Anguilla was with the sister isles. Of reference material on the subject, Ms. Parris suggested starting with Independence Magazine, 19th September 1983. The publication is brief, but is an encyclopedia of the details that make an independent country, such as: an explanation of the coat of arms; the flag; the national anthem; background and history of both islands and histories of the political parties that helped shape the Federation. Another short read is In Pursuit of Sovereignty by Wakely Dee. This is a good compact version of Federation independence that covers many of the historical points of the subject. For a little more involved reading, try From Commoner To King: Crusader of Dignity and Justice in the Caribbean, by Whitman Browne. It tells of the labor movement from its beginning and its political pinning that is St.Kitts-Nevis and Anguilla, as it parallels the life of Bradshaw. Browne, an educator in the U.S.Virgin Islands and a native of Nevis, in the forward of his work, identifies the men “who made and indelible contribution to Caribbean development”. He includes: Sir Alexander Bustamante, Norman Manley and Michael Manley of Jamaica, Sir Grantley Adams of Barbados, Uriah Butler, Sir Eric Williams and C.L.R. James of Trinidad; Tom Adams of Barbados, Maurice Bishop of Grenada and William Bramble of Montserrat. It is 13 years after Bradshaw’s death that the time came for Browne’s book to come to life. A number of pamphlets and children’s publications that are closer to being artifacts than reference material are available for viewing at the library. One is Nevis Independence Magazine which is chocked full of essays, poems and songs written in competitions by school children during the time of Independence. In the credits Joseph Parry is listed as the Chief Independence Coordinator. For a timeline breakdown of 20th century history of the small island, there is Nevis, the last 100 years, 1900 to 1999. For a lot of Nevis history in just over 100 pages there is Swords, Ships and Sugar, by Vincent K. Hubbard. This is a very popular title that spans 3,000 years with its main focus on the 1600s and 1700s. For some 20th century history of the West Indies The Agony of the Eight, by Sir Arthur Lewis. This essay talks of the attempt and the failure to unite the Caribbean.