Sat | Oct 31, 2020

Lest we find gold

Published:Friday | November 8, 2019 | 12:00 AMBarbara Ellington/Contributor
Cheers! From left are Genny Berry, Malenie Schwapp, Cynthia Hamilton and Lisa Seiuright.
Naedene Tufton (left) and Melanie Schwapp at the launch of ‘Lest We Find Gold’.
Melanie Schwapp signing her book for Professor Ernest Madu and his wife Dainia Baugh.

The winding driveway to 40 Jacks Hill Drive ended at what had been transformed into a wonderland by night courtesy of Audia Whyte for the launch of Melanie Schwapp’s third book, Lest We Find Gold.

The venue’s beautifully landscaped grounds were punctuated by a coterie of guests sipping Select Brands libations and a delectable selection of Patsy Lyn Caterers finger foods from cosy seating in gazebos and corners.

Master of ceremonies and book publisher (Bala Press) Glynis Salmon skilfully guided the programme.

Way-back-when friends Cynthia Robinson, Daniella Harris, and Marie-Lou Creque told poignant and witty, at times teary, recollections of their journey with the author from prep-school days to the present. They omitted little, revealing how Melanie’s sensitivity, brilliance, and depth as a true friend kept them together through high school, college, marriage, motherhood, and the simple act of just being in each other’s corner unconditionally.

Schwapp’s son, Daniel, spoke of his mother in glowing terms as he described himself as the “son in the true gold trio of her children”. Throughout his delivery, there were whispers from the audience that Daniel sounded every bit the future author. He has already learnt from his mom to “write what only you can write”.

There were also presentations by Phillipa Davis, assistant general manager of JAMCOPY, who encouraged all authors present to properly secure their creative works. And a reading/review of the book by Dr Kim Robinson-Walcott left everyone eager to read it.

Copies of the book were presented to the National Library of Jamaica, the Jamaica Library Service, the Book Industry Association of Jamaica, and the Jamaica Copyright Licensing Agency. It has already earned critical acclaim from the editing team and early readers, who describe it thus: “The depth and potency of the thoughts and emotions that this soul-stirring, artful, and masterful literary installation has produced is amazing.”

Lest We Forget tells the story of Millicent ‘Millie’ Pratt’s life, covering issues of “...insecurity, domestic abuse, social prejudice, internal struggles of fear, power and a number of other issues that make up the fabric of our lives”.

The programme also featured presentations in dance and musical selections by saxophonist extraordinaire Warren Harris.

In her acknowledgements, Schwapp had words of gratitude for her husband, children, friends, the book’s publishers and especially her mother, Vilma Baugh, who, in childhood, taught her how to find the story by looking beyond the actions and words of people. She also thanked her dad, the late Dr Ken Baugh – to whom the book is dedicated – for being the wind that made her pen soar.

Copies can be had at bookstores islandwide or through special sales arrangements via Bala Press: (876) 978-0556/491-4120.