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OUR CARIBBEAN

A Journey through the Mysterious Antilles
Past and Present

Our Caribbean gives you a front row seat to the illuminating history of the Caribbean Island chain, with captivating prose that extol the virtues, attractions, and character of the Caribbean peoples.
As a well-travelled islander, the author describes in Our Caribbean, a world so diverse in its origin and ethnicity yet homogenous, creating a rich mélange of identities, cultures, histories and cuisines.
For visitors and Caribbean islanders alike, as well as students of Caribbean and West Indian history, Our Caribbean  will, without a doubt, enhance your appreciation for the diverse history, sheer beauty and magnificence of the Caribbean islands and its peoples.

Bernard C.
Theobalds

O.B.E. (Order of the British Empire, for services to the electricity sector in St. Lucia) is a St. Lucian and a graduate of the University of Glasgow. As a young engineer in the 1970s, he worked with the then highly regarded Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) of the UK, throughout South-Eastern England.
He was part of the team of electric power professionals who worked, through the 1980s and 1990s with the Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC), on electricity projects throughout the wider Caribbean. He served as CEO of the St. Lucia Electricity Services Ltd. and was a foundermember and also Chairman of CARILEC, the regional grouping of electric power utilities. In 2016 the Government of St. Lucia awarded him the Medal of Merit (Gold) for services to the electricity sector. His first book, Landing on Solid Ground, chronicled developments in the electricity business in some islands in the Caribbean. He is now retired and living in St. Lucia

The Caribbean Islands, spanning the shores of Florida and the Gulf of Mexico and curving to the coasts of South America, an arc of over 2500 miles, have been known as the Mysterious Antilles since Medieval Times. Today, shorn of their mystery, the islands remain among the most exotic and romantic of destinations in the world.

Popular Events

Trinidad and Tobago Carnival | The Pre-Lenten Celebration in Trinidad and Tobago February is the height of Carnival season in the Caribbean and the pre-Lenten celebration in Trinidad and Tobago is romantic than a Valentine’s Day trip to the islands.
Trinidad and Tobago Carnival

February is the height of Carnival season in the Caribbean, and the pre-Lenten celebration in Trinidad and Tobago is something that everyone should experience at least once. Plus, what's more romantic than a Valentine's Day trip to the islands?

Grenada Films & Music Festival
Grenada Film & Music Festival

Christmas and New Year's Eve take on a unique island flavor in the Caribbean, while the stars shine at the annual Bahamas International Film Festival and traditional parang music is celebrated in Grenada in December.

Crop Over Festival Barbados
Crop Over festival Barbados

June's Crop Over festival is Barbados's version of Carnival, while Vincy Mas is celebrated in the Grenadines. The St. Kitts Music Festival combines R&B, hip-hop, calypso, soca, and more.

Pirate Week in the Cayman Islands
Pirate Week / Tranquility Jazz Festival

November has one of the busiest event calendars of the year in the Caribbean, featuring unique happenings like Pirate Week in the Cayman Islands (which includes a festive pirate "invasion"), the Tranquility Jazz Festival in Anguilla, and the Conch Cracking Festival in the Bahamas.

Explore The Natural Beauty of the Caribbean

Our Caribbean through descriptive prose, gives you a vivid account of the history and sheer beauty of the islands.

Honeymooning In St Lucia

St Lucia is renowned as the World’s Leading Honeymoon Destination, winning the award multiple times from the prestigious World Travel Awards (WTA). Spectacular landscapes with rich vegetation permeate the island from the twin mountains of the Pitons (a World Heritage site), to picturesque Marigot Bay dotted with yachts, sightseeing on Pigeon Island National Park, to the sandy beaches of Reduit and Sugar Beach. Activities range from Deep Sea Fishing, to Scuba Diving and Snorkeling, Mountain Hiking and Sunset Sailing, to name just a few.

Honeymooners have a varied choice of accommodations from the very exclusive Jade Mountain Resort (overlooking the Pitons) to Sandals Resort Hotels, T. Kaye Village Resort and Spa, Ladera Resort and many B&B locations across the island.

Oprah Winfrey once famously said, St Lucia and the Pitons … one of the five places to see in your lifetime.

Learn more about St Lucia and the other populated Caribbean islands in Our Caribbean

Our Caribbean
Our Caribbean
Our Caribbean Book
Our Caribbean
Our Caribbean

Reviews

Our Caribbean: Professor Sir Vaughn Lewis

A welcome non-technical survey, for both adults and students, of the character, development, and status of the multi-lingual Caribbean Islands

Educational: Aztec Landscaping LLC

Very informative. Excellent.

History of Our Neighbors Beyond 1492! John M.

What an informative read! I’ve visited many of the island nations and appreciated the distinction each offers. But now I have a better understanding of the forces, good and evil that shaped the culture of the inhabitants. More than a guide, this book adds context and appreciation to the beautiful people of the Caribbean.

Wonderful Book: Melissa M

Thoroughly enjoyed it and have a much better sense of how sugar and later bananas played a major role in the settlement and development of the region. This book recalled our trips to the Caribbean that started in the 60’s with an early memory in Jamaica and a night we watched the business end of loading/handling of bananas. Reliving the smell and sweat of that experience and the sounds of Calypso. Never realizing the significance of that night nor the meaning of the sugar mill ruins on the down islands we visited. That book brought so many memories to life. A quick read with just enough detail. I’m so grateful for all the insight the book provided and all the work to bring it together.

Our Caribbean: TL Cozier, Barrister

This book is an instructive and illuminating history of the North Western islands of the Caribbean. For a Winward Islander, to read so informative a history of that region was deeply rewarding. This book is a God send to all who love West Indian History and in particular, the high school students of the subject.

Our Caribbean: Michael S

Excellent publication by the Author which provides history of the Caribbean Nations. This is a must read for everyone who wants to know about the Caribbean Islands. Well written.

Blog

February is the height of Carnival season in the Caribbean, and the pre-Lenten celebration in Trinidad and Tobago is something that everyone should experience at least once. Plus, what’s more romantic than a Valentine’s Day trip to the islands?
June’s Crop Over festival is Barbados’s version of Carnival, while Vincy Mas is celebrated in the Grenadines. The St. Kitts Music Festival combines R&B, hip-hop, calypso, soca, and more.
 
Excerpts taken from the chapter on St Lucia

(pages 148 - 157)

There is dispute as to the origin of the name and discovery of St. Lucia, creating the opportunity for all kinds of speculation. Even Thomas Coke (in 1811) challenges the very discovery of the island, and in which particular voyage, by Columbus; and all available evidence suggests that Columbus never came close to the islands of the Southern Antilles (except for Trinidad). Even his courses through the islands, derived from his logs, show no approach to Tobago, Barbados, Grenada, St. Vincent or St. Lucia. It is known however, that our explorer touched by Martinique during his Fourth Voyage in 1502, coming in from the Atlantic through the Martinique Channel. It is also revealing there is no mention of Columbus’ reaction to the unique Pitons, though he was known to keep copious notes.

The island is heavily volcanic, dominated by a central mountain range traversing much of its length, north to south, punctuated with fertile valleys going down to the sea. A one-time English resident and writer, Henry Breen, wrote enthusiastically of St. Lucia in 1842, of its wild and romantic scenery, grand and picturesque, its somber forests and shallow rivers and other enchanting forms. These sentiments would still apply today

The French were probably the first colonists, in the seventeenth century, when France and England both rising naval powers, initiated their conquest of Spain’s Caribbean colonies. St. Lucia would become a major producer of sugar and other slave-grown crops. The French developed the island’s sulphur baths at the south-western town of Soufriere and left their mark to this day, with all the nation’s towns and villages (Castries, Gros Islet, Vieux Fort, Soufriere, Laborie) given French names, and a French patois being universally spoken. Roman Catholicism was, until recent times, the overwhelmingly dominant religion, in contrast with other British territories, like Barbados, where Anglicanism prevails. Castries the capital and main port, founded in 1650, is named after a French nobleman.

The Pitons and surrounding area were designated a World Heritage Site in 2004. The original natives called the island Hewanorra, “Land of Water” which name remains in use today for  the island’s international airport.
The island achieved independence in 1979 and is a member of the OECS grouping. Citizens refer to themselves, somewhat proudly as Looshuns, the word derived obviously from a   corruption of the name of their island. 

The island became known as The Helen of the West, apropos “Helen of Troy”, because it was, to the colonizing Europeans, militarily the most sought-after island in the Eastern Caribbean, simply in view of its location and large and naturally deep and sheltered harbours,  a rarity among the smaller islands in the region. It changed hands at least 14 times in violent conflict  between the English and the French, the most aggressive imperial powers after the decline of the Spanish.

The modern period has its own attractions too. The island has for many years, been the terminus of the ARC (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers), an annual race for yachtsmen originating in Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands during November, with arrival in St Lucia in time for Christmas celebrations. Then there is the internationally popular Jazz Festival held in May of every year attracting music aficionados from all over the world.

St Lucia may be heavily volcanic in origin, but it does have some beautiful golden-sand beaches, Sandals Resorts and the world famous and very exclusive Jade Mountain Resort, with its close-up and magnificent views of the Pitons.

Oprah Winfrey famously has said St Lucia and the Pitons … one of the five places to see in your lifetime.