Nov. 16 2005 A journey to the home of three St. Croix authors revealed the rich history and culture of a family whose value of the written word has preserved a piece of Virgin Islands history for future generations.
Zorida Jacobs, Education Department Reading Campaign coordinator, and Ingrid Bough, copyright specialist for the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., took a step back in time Wednesday afternoon as they toured the historic Lawaetz Family Museum and learned more about the family's authors, Herman C. J. Lawaetz, Erik J. Lawaetz and Roy Lawaetz. Another book in the family collection is the memoirs of Frits E. Lawaetz, a former St. Croix district senator, written by Pricilla Watkins.
The visit was part of the Week of the Book sponsored by Education's Reading Campaign. The campaign promotes reading as an essential skill to ensure success in life. The organization's ultimate goal is to create a community of readers in the territory.
"We wanted to visit the home of the authors," Jacobs said.
The week-long activities began on Sunday with a writers' marathon. Jacobs said writers were assigned to pen a story about anything in Christiansted town and then the submissions were .
Jacobs and Bough were given a tour of the 18th-century estate house, with its accompanying ruins and rambling garden by Irene Lawaetz. She is the current caretaker of the house, which is now leased to the St. Croix Landmark Society because of its historical value.
The four books written by and about the family were displayed on a mahogany table inside the residence. Herman C.J. Lawaetz wrote the book Peter von Scholten in his native Danish language. The information in the book was gathered from people who knew the Danish General and has since been reprinted in English. St Croix: 500 Years pre-Columbus to 1990 was written by Erik J. Lawaetz and The Modular Triangle System was written by Roy Lawaetz. Rounding out the collection is The Bull of Annaly, the memoirs of Fritz E. Lawaetz by Pricilla Watkins.
Book Week activities continue on Saturday with a parade in Christiansted beginning at 9 a.m. from Bassin Triangle to Fort Christianvaern. An Anansi Festival with books for sale and reading for the children follows until 5 p.m. On Sunday there will be an author's awards ceremony by invitation only. For more information call Zorida Jacobs at 773-1520.
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