Chief Cultural Officer, Raymond Lawrence, to retire

Raymond Lawrence
Raymond Lawrence

Dominica is in search of a new Chief Cultural Officer and that’s because Raymond Lawrence, the man who has been at the helm of culture in this country, will retire from that post in January 2014, at the age of 60 years .

Raymond Lawrence has worked in the cultural division since 1982. In 1990 he was was temporally put “in charge” and three years later, he was appointed Chief Cultural Officer.

Lawrence, who has been awarded many times in Dominica and the region for his work in the field of culture for the past 31 years,will from November 11, 2013, be heading on pre-retirement leave.

“I am grateful and thankful that I was able to reach this milestone and thankful to God that I was able to play a role in Dominica’s development in the field of arts and culture,” he said.

Lawrence, who is the director of the everlasting Waitukubuli  Dance Theatre Company, is also a qualified broadcaster and worked with DBS Radio and Radio Antilles in Montserrat.

However, for him, arts and culture have been his love from “a boy”.

“I have been at the Cultural Division now for 31 years but long before that, since being a boy at school, I have been involved in arts and culture in Dominica. “When I went to Montserrat to work at then Radio Antilles, I help formed the Montserrat Dance Theatre and I was the Director of that group. Even after I am gone, I just would like to see culture grow in Dominica from strength to strength.”

With every job, he explained, there are challenges and while he agrees that culture could “maybe do with more staff, more funding etc,” he thinks that Dominica, being a developing country, one has to try to work with what is available and that is what has been done.

“We have for the most part, gotten a very good response from the general public, government and those who we work with and for. Even in the region from the other cultural departments, when they hear we have such a small staff, they are amazed and ask, ‘how are you all able to accomplish what you do with so little staff.’”

“I have no disappointment as such but the job had challenges… you take life as it comes. You take the work and try to do your very best. It’s been a wonderful experience I love culture a lot, I have been in it almost all my life and it was a pleasure working with people like Alwin (Bully) he was the first chief cultural officer, Pearl Christian, Earl Etienne and all the others that I have had the pleasure of working with over the years,” he said with the usual smile on his face.

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50 Comments

  1. Ben Dong
    October 15, 2013

    So no more belly dancing?

  2. Ashley
    October 15, 2013

    We will miss you. You were the one voice linked to our Dominican culture. Happy retirement!

  3. Possi
    October 15, 2013

    Well done Mr. Lawrence. I suggest that the government knight him as Sir Raymond Lawrence

  4. Attitude
    October 15, 2013

    Raymond can retire from the Cultural Division, but I am certain that culture will not retire from him. That said, I believe Raymond did an exceptional job while he served in the office of Chief Cultural Officer.

    Miss Pearle Christian who has been in that office and works closely with Raymond would in my opinion, do just a fine job as Raymond did.

  5. Positive
    October 15, 2013

    Ray, I had the privilege of working with you and I support what everyone has echoed in the previous sentiments, you are a pillar in the development of culture in Dominica and by extension the region. It will be very difficult to replace you but having worked with Aunty Pearl, she will certainly do a fantastic job because I know you worked as a team and while your were the team leader your staff gave you the support in every sense.
    My wish is that you have a happy and enjoyable retirement but that your skills will continue to be utilised in the field of culture. You will certainly be missed. Although I am not directly in that area now but you have made an indelible impact on my life in the public service in that area, which I cherish and when the word culture is echoed – Raymond Lawrence stands out. Love you Ray and God’s speed as you enjoy your retirement vacation.

  6. lovely
    October 15, 2013

    Job well done enjoy your retirement you will greatly miss

  7. Anthony Ismael
    October 15, 2013

    That’s a good man right there. I can’t think of anyone who represents the Cultural Division better than Raymond. Good luck in your new pursuits.

  8. Nmc
    October 15, 2013

    I have known Raymond since the late sixties at the Dominica grammar School. He has always been a kind, humble,focus,confident and pleasant gentleman. I have never seen him in an angry mood, always a glittering smile even while teaching his dance troop a difficult new dance. His major success is that he led a small but competent staff at the cultural Division. Someone like Pearl Christian can easily replace him.So my best wishes to you Ray on your retirement and may god bless you.

  9. Anonymous
    October 14, 2013

    I think aunty pearl would make a GREAT CEO of the Cultural division.. Not only has she own great support to dominican’s culture plus choirs. she would make a GREAT ambassador to Dominica as well… Always well Clad and well represented wherever she goes.

  10. DANZIGER
    October 14, 2013

    Thankyou RAY, you are a great man, we appreciate what u have done for us, thankyou.

  11. SN
    October 14, 2013

    Thank you,Sugar Ray, for your services to our nation. Enjoy retirement.

  12. ROSEAU VALLEY
    October 14, 2013

    A real cultural icon. One who really and truly loves Dominica and its culture.
    One who deserves all the kudos. A true patriot.

    Raymond may be officially retiring but something tells me we have not and will not see the back of this man in the cultural arena. He will be involved some way, shape or form in the development and preservation of the Dominican culture. He is a cultural warrior.

    More than Charlo, this man deserves Dominica’s highest award. Unlike the Skerrit/Boyd installed president, this man is well loved and admired by all Dominican across political, economic, social divides.

    WHappy retirement Raymond. With respect and admiration
    Roseau Valley

  13. CHARMER
    October 14, 2013

    Thank you so much Uncle Ray. You are truly an icon. I am sure that Aunty Pearl can fit in nicely.

  14. african queen
    October 14, 2013

    I would suggest the guy who wrote woman can lie from Calibishie or Mr Ferrol he will learn on the job;why because Pearl is nearing 60.

  15. Two Cents
    October 14, 2013

    Thanks Ray Ray,exceptional job ma brother.We have to name something in ur honor.No one could have served the cultural division of d/a like u did.

  16. Hmmmm
    October 14, 2013

    Mr. Raymond Lawrence is an exceptional Dominican. When it comes to local culture no other has done so much for so many with so little.

  17. fil
    October 14, 2013

    Sir thanks for a job well done. May God bless you with good health and enjoy your retirement to the fullest. Thank you very very much.

  18. Michael Norris
    October 14, 2013

    Thank you, Raymond, for your immense contribution to the development of Dominica. I recommend that you be given a contract to remain as head of the Division of Culture for a few more years if it is agreeable to you and that you be awarded the Sisserou Award. Others have been given the award for much less than what you have accomplished. It is a marvel that you accomplished so much in respect of your field of endeavour and love with so little resources. In that respect, you are shining light to others who are striving to achieve with limited means.

    More power to you!

  19. GNibbs
    October 14, 2013

    Well done thou good and faithful servant,you have served your country well, with pride honesty,dignity,stewardship and utmost dedication.Your love for arts and culture is manifested in every fibre of your being and hopefully have been captured by everyone who had the privledge to workwith/learned under your directorship.you will be surely missed by all other patriotic Dominicans at home and abroad,carribbean countries and by a wider extension the world.May God richly bless you andfill your heart with fondest memories during your well deserved pre retirement/retirement.Stand strong my brother you have surely made us proud.SMA POSSE.

  20. October 14, 2013

    he served with distinction

    one of the few heoroes we have left.

    i am proud of him

  21. T mama
    October 14, 2013

    Well, Well, Well….Mr. Lawrence you are stepping out now..what a wonderful human being you are, great talent and great organizer…you and your staff worked with pittance, but you all made it work..marvelous..May the Good Lord always Bless and Keep you, and may He bless your future endeavors…We will love you forever..

  22. Culture
    October 14, 2013

    They Can appoint Pearle Christian

  23. hmmmm
    October 14, 2013

    Thank you Mr. Lawrence for your immense contribution to our beautiful island. May God continue to bless you as you embark on this next stage in life.

  24. Anonymous
    October 14, 2013

    pearle christian

  25. Dominican in the US
    October 14, 2013

    Raymond, I salute you on a job well done. However, since you are still very young at heart, I believe you could go for another five years. (smile). Nonetheless, congrats on your achievements and may you enjoy all the rest of your years. God continue to bless you richly.

  26. Me too
    October 14, 2013

    Job well done – you have served well and with love. enjoy your retirement. laugh alot and have fun

  27. Runawayslave
    October 14, 2013

    There are better things for you to come.YOUR contribution to this country can not easily be match by anyone.
    May the MOST HIGH guide and protect you in your future.Good Luck my boy.
    You did it with a big heart.

  28. ------
    October 14, 2013

    A patriotic and great Dominican, he will be missed,Raymond Lawrence for President.

    • Anonymous
      October 14, 2013

      But; for true – well respected, humble and everything

  29. Tri-State Beauty
    October 14, 2013

    Thank you so much Uncle Ray Ray for all your dedicated hard. You have so much left to do and I you are asked to stay on, please do. A million thank you won’t be enough. Thanks for impacting my life personally and that of so many other Dominicans. A truly distinguished,unselfish, son of the soil!!!!!

  30. gwaj
    October 14, 2013

    A true patriot. Thank you for all you have done. I was wondering if Pearl Christian could not fill that role now? She has the same big heart and love of culture as Mr. Lawrence does.

    • October 14, 2013

      Yes she should be allowed to take up the job that’s a wonderful choice.

  31. Anonymous
    October 14, 2013

    In his quiet gentle way Raymond Lawrence led by example. “Well Done My Good and Faithful Servant”. I know you cannot remain idle since Dominican culture and service to your country is in your blood. All the Best on your retirement from the Public Service

  32. Cultural one
    October 14, 2013

    Dear Raymond
    Congratulations on all your hard work over the years. You have a great attitude and we all respect your skilss, work and achievements. Go in peace and enjoy this new chapter of your life.
    You will not retire, you are too energetic, but you need to rest and relax before you return. The region needs people like you to consult on cultural matters. Lots of opportunities await you at your leisure. Allay epin bon dieu.

  33. la vie
    October 14, 2013

    sa se culture nous! njoy your retirement Sir…job well done..THANKS

  34. Cyberland
    October 14, 2013

    Always a cool and humble bro. :) ’nuff respect and all the best to you Sir. :wink:

  35. Hmmmm
    October 14, 2013

    How can they be “in search of a new Chief Cultural Officer..” when Ms. Pearl Christian is right there and very much capable of taking over the helm and continuing the excellent work that Mr. Lawrence has been doing. I think she is ready, (I assume she is willing) and I know she is very able, to assume that position.

  36. cohenval
    October 14, 2013

    You have done a magnificent job in developing the culture of Dominica.What you retiring for? You like the job and you are good at it. At 60, you have the experience, the wisdom and the vision to do Dominica well, in terms of its culture. Plus your mortgage is finish paid ( me that saying my thing!).

  37. Ideall
    October 14, 2013

    will miss you , thanks for all your hard work enjoy your retirement

  38. Anonymous
    October 14, 2013

    Mr Lawrence, all I can say is “THANK YOU, MERCI, GRACIAS AND GOD BLESS”.

  39. "O" STRESS"
    October 14, 2013

    A true loyal patriotic son of the soil, A hero in my opinion and a servant who lived up to the true meaning of a professional, not too many of them can be found in our todays World of me! me! A role model who led by example and served all at the highest level. I want to wish MR . Raymond God continued blessings and Good Health going forward. Remember you are a true trail blazer with a unique talent and know how to run things. In life a legacy left for all to follow trump all the money one will earn, We are loosing all our mature competent persons but that’s life nothing last for ever and the business must carry on. Hopefully the person who is chosen to fill your big shoes will emulate your style and seek to maintain the integrity of our true culture for many years to come. I hope you leaving does not mean a dark cloud will hover above us, but you will continue to impart your vast knowledge and experience to all those who wants to follow in your foot steps. As often the case in Dominica. OUT OF SITE OUT OF MIND”. Enjoy your retirement and long live your legacy may we all continue to give you your flowers while you are still with us. Thanks for your service to country and mind kind. You surely made a difference. Light your light continue to shine thru your work.

  40. Onlooker
    October 14, 2013

    My Dear Raymond, we shall miss you Dearly.
    The cultural division will know your true value after you have left and hence I say “you never miss the water till the well runs dry”. You were overworked and underpaid but were always professional and gave the best of you with the little resources and assistance you got. I wish you the very best in your future endeavors.

  41. hope
    October 14, 2013

    :) I have admired this man all my days thus far, the excellence with which he operates and his obvious love for culture … such a gem to your country Mr. Raymond, I just wanted you to know. Dominica is so much the better because of you.

  42. JOHNNY2K....top rank
    October 14, 2013

    THANKS FOR A JOB WELL DONE MY BROTHER

  43. T
    October 14, 2013

    Congrats on your retirement Mr. Lawrence. God bless you.

  44. Nel
    October 14, 2013

    COngratulations Mr. Lawrence! You deserve your retirement! Hard worker proud to know you.

  45. believer
    October 14, 2013

    Raymond has done a commendable job as chief cultural officer. His love of the arts and culture
    has always been on display, especially in dance and choreography.Never ostentatious,he does his job with a quiet confidence that is admirable.
    Enjoy this season of festivities Raymond before you retire.
    And hope you find time in retirement to continue to inspire young people in the art form.

  46. grell
    October 14, 2013

    Thank you so much Mr.Lawrence for all your hard work and preserving Dominica’s culture and arts.You will be missed.

  47. GNibbs
    October 14, 2013

    I wish you a happy and well deserved retirement.You have served your country well with dignity, pride and utmost dedication. Your work in arts and culture will forever leave an imprint on the minds of the fortunate ones who had the priviledge to work with you and learn under your directorship.So to will all Dominicans at home and abroad miss your most charismatic voice and personality.

  48. wat
    October 14, 2013

    AWWWWWWWWWWW He don’t even look 60 you young man you!.. You will be missed! I hope the cultural energy is kept and rises more and never drops even if you step down!.. Hey no matter what was said about this man, I admire his agile and confidence to do what he love and to keep enduring and achieving in the field of arts and culture.. Pearly doh cwy eh lol..

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