By Stephen Weir
Photographs by Herman Silochan
The Different Booklist Culture Centre has become a busy hub for community events. Last Friday there was an evening party to mark and important aspect of the African Canadian history. A huge Caribbean- centric book collection was formally donated to the Centre along with a Grand piano once owned by one of the pioneers of the Caribana festival.
The Colin Rickards Collection was unveiled by members of the late journalist’s family. Rickards, an author of nine books and a reporter and columnist for the Caribbean Camera, suffered a fatal heart attack eight years ago.
“Colin was a voracious reader and a book collector of all things Caribbean,” Itah Sadu, owner of the A Different Booklist, said. “This is probably the most complete library of the Diaspora culture in the city.”
Fellow journalist and close friend Herman Silochan also spoke at the ceremony. “His book collection grew over the years. It was not any ordinary collection, but a focused illuminating tableau of words, sentences and paragraphs, of people and places, events that shaped our lives,” he said.
“I discovered too, that he was already becoming a renowned researcher on the English presence in the American Wild West,” He added. “In addition to the Caribbean, he became internationally recognized on the history of the French Foreign Legion.”
The Cultural Centre has rugs on the concrete floor and walls decorated with Caribbean photos and paintings.
In addition to the new wall of books there is now in the room a grand piano owned by the late Charles Roach. The Trinidadian lawyer worked in the Bathurst Street area and his family, who were at the ceremony felt the Cultural Centre was the best place for his beloved piano.