Joan Robinson Christian and Irving W. Andre with first shipment of Pont Casse Press first publication “In Search of Eden “ 1992

Dr Irving W. Andre, co-founder of Pont Casse Press, has published two important and groundbreaking publications – “A Century of Dominican Football” and “Strangers in Suffisant: British West Indians in Curacao 1943-1963” – a history of Dominicans and the British West Indian Diaspora in Curacao.

Both books offer great insight into areas of our Dominican sporting history and the role of the British West Indian Diaspora in Curacao during and after World War II. In particular the nexus between British West Indian oil industry workers and the Allied victory over fascism in Europe is expounded on in a manner seldom seen in the written record of that conflict. That 75% of the petrol used by US forces in the North Africa campaign came from the efforts of those British West Indian oil industry workers is quite revealing. No wonder the German Navy sent U-Boats into the Caribbean to disrupt that vital commerce. The President Pro Tem of the Dominica Academy Dr Clayton Shillingford and my retired Dominica Manager of the Workshop for the Blind Alberta Christian both personally witnessed U-Boat off Dominica’s shores during the war.

The period photographs from the early 20th Century which spotlight football greats on Dominica is a historical treat found in the work on local football given the rare nature of the photos. It is ironic that many of the early photos came from the archives of the Dominica Diaspora given that many families on Dominica lost their albums during the devastation wrought by Hurricane David in 1979. The heroic role of Dominica’s Diaspora – alongside that of other British West Indians have been the saving grace for our economies over decades. The overseas communities have contributed immensely to the survival of the Caribbean nations. Such pointed reference on the worth of the West Indian Diaspora as made by Dr. Andre – a sitting Canadian judge – should give pause to those governments and their acolytes who vilify overseas communities and their leaders whenever they dare raise their voices against injustices and misrule in their home countries.

Pont Casse Press was founded by then Canadian Assistant Crown Attorney Irving W. Andre and US based Dominica born attorney Gabriel J. Christian twenty five years ago. Their first publication, “In Search of Eden: Dominica, the Travails of a Caribbean Mini State” (Pont Casse Press, 1992) came on the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ encounter with what was thereafter called the New World in western historiography.

Since 1992 Pont Casse Press has published thirty four books on Dominica/West Indian general history, biographies, agriculture science, sports history, and literature.

On June 3, 2017 both founders of Pont Casse Press, Andre and Christian, will be honored at the New York Public Library in Manhattan, by the New York City Council. The Chair of the awards event in commemoration of Caribbean American Heritage Month will be New York City Councilman for the Bronx Andy King who has oversight over the New York Public Library system.

The Dominica/Caribbean community in the New York City and adjoining states are invited to the function scheduled for June 3, 2017 2:00 PM at the 42nd Street New York Public Library Stephen Schwarzman Building, Celeste Bartos Forum.

The authors will be available to sign copies of their work upon request.

Admission is free.