It’s been eight years since the world’s largest literary book fair – the Logos Hope- sailed into Barbados waters, and today captain and crew received a warm welcome from officials, who described the visit as long overdue.
The mega ship, with its 385-member crew, comprising over 60 nationalities and a library of 6, 000 books, will be docked at the Flour Mill, along the Spring Garden Highway until next Friday.
Several dignitaries, including Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Education Senator Harcourt Husbands; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education June Chandler; Venezuelan Ambassador Francisco Perez-Santana and United States Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Linda Taglialatela were among the first to board the ship this morning.
“I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the Government and the people of Barbados to welcome you most sincerely to the real Caribbean,” Husbands said in welcoming the Logos crew to the island.
He also joked about having to get permission from Prime Minister Freundel Stuart to attend today’s event since Cabinet was scheduled for today.
“The fact that the Prime Minister has bent that rule and given me permission to be here this morning only emphasizes the significance and high esteem this country places on your visit,” Husbands added.
Ordained South Korean pastor and Managing Director of Logos Hope Pil-Hun Park did not hide his delight at being here.
He stated that the mission of Logos Hope was to advance the wellbeing of people everywhere, which was achieved through, “sharing knowledge, making available many good books to read, encouraging help by assisting educational, social and health care projects and ensuring hope”.
The onboard book fair – a selection of over 5,000 different titles at affordable prices – covers a wide range of subjects, including science, sports, hobbies, cookery, arts, medicine, languages and philosophy with children’s titles, academic texts, dictionaries and atlases among others.
More than the huge library, Captain of the Logos Hope Samuel Hils said he was hoping that Barbadians would also use the opportunity to learn about the ship and its diverse crew.
“This is not only a ship, you could find out meeting our crew that it is also our home. We all live here together . . . . I am living here with my wife and daughter. We are happy to have you here and that you have received us here and we are looking forward to the ten days in Barbados,” the German national added.
One of his crewmembers, Melissa Martinez of Mexico, was passionate as she told Barbados TODAY how much she loved being a part of the Logos team.
“I absolutely love it here. [There is no other way] . . . you can experience 67 different nationalities together aboard one ship working together. There is joy, there is peace, there is laughter all around,” Martinez said.
Equally excited about the Logos’ return were members of the local touring party.
Barbados TODAY spoke to Allison Millington and Allan Howard who were excited to be on board the ship again.
Millington, who loves reading, is hoping that having the Logos here would trigger her son’s interest in reading.
“I love reading and I am hoping my son would love it to. Just hearing that they were coming here . . . I wanted him to get into reading. I thought that it was a really good thing,” she said.
Millington added that it was not merely about the books. She is looking forward to meeting and learning about the culture of the crew.
“For me it is more than just the books because I am passionate about topics like geography, history and culture. It is just meeting the crewmembers from all over the world. That is an amazing experience and then being able to [read] the books in my field,” she said.
For his part, Howard said: “I am so glad that it has come to Barbados again. I think the last time that they were here was 2009 and really the ship and the whole experience is a tremendous opportunity for Barbados to come on board and see what’s happening.”