Di Silvaana Udz Lekcha Series launched in Belmopan Print E-mail
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Thursday, 04 September 2014 00:00

A lecture series celebrating the illustrious life and contributions of Dr. Silvana Udz, assistant professor at the University of Belize, was launched in a packed hall of the Jaguar Auditorium at the University of Belize in Belmopan this past Tuesday. It was an opportunity at this occasion to hear the well known and established writer Godfrey Smith, who gave students numerous pointers to the writing process.

Present at this event on Tuesday was Dr. Silvana Udz, who was much applauded for her work and contributions to Belize. As reviewed by book enthusiast and writer Ivory Kelly, Dr. Silvana Udz is a founding member of the Belize Creole Project, the literary arm of Belize’s National Creole Council. While at the Creole Council Dr. Silvana Udz published the Creole English dictionary in 2007 and promoted a standard Creole spelling system as well as material for using the Creole language as a tool in developing English fluency in Belize. Dr. Silvana Udz is now leading a team of English lecturers at the University of Belize in developing a pre-college English program.

Thus; the program to inspire students continued in earnest on Tuesday with the main guest Godfrey Smith, reviewing his life’s work in Belize, which has involved prolific writings in both print and the internet medium. Godfrey P. Smith himself is the author of George Price: a Life Revealed, which in 2012 won the prestigious OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature in the nonfiction category. In his revelations to students on Tuesday, Godfrey Smith said that his now well received book on George Price “…lived inside of me for 18 years.” He reported that the idea on writing the book on one of Belize’s Nation Builders came to him in 1993, while he was still a student in Jamaica.

Godfrey Smith, who continues to maintain physical folders at his home in Belize City, catalogued from year to year on the accomplishments of George Price, urged the students Tuesday to be fully immersed in the writing process and that can only come by experiencing the events, taking down notes, reading a lot and having pleasure in the writing task itself.

“Nation building must be a process of getting communities of people to collaborate…to be able to provide services and systems that enables people not only to survive, but to reach their potential,” he said, in answering a question on the role of contemporary writing in Nation building.

Godfrey Smith is now an attorney-at-law, but he once served as Attorney General, Foreign Minister, Minister of Foreign Trade, Minister of Defense, Minister of Information and Minister of Tourism, all before the age of 40.

In a press release made last week by organizers of the Di Silvaana Udz Lecture Series, the annual series of events, aims to introduce students to noteworthy authors, poets and other intellectuals from Belize and abroad, so that they may be inspired to pursue a life of letters and critical thinking. It is also a part of Belize’s Jaguar Salon, a year-round series of academic and artistic events organized by the Faculty of Education and Arts and hosted at the Jaguar Auditorium on the University of Belize Belmopan Campus.