Author Josiah Stewart to launch book on Union Island
November 22, 2013
Author Josiah Stewart to launch book on Union Island

Fri Nov 22, 2013

by Stanton Gomes

A new book entitled “Union Island Then and Now” will be released in December this year. The book will highlight the rich history of the island in sequential order, starting from the 1760s.{{more}}

The author, Josiah Stewart, said he started writing his book in 2009 and it took much dedication and research over the last four years to gather information.

Stewart said he journeyed to Harvard University in search of data and combed the Queens, New York cemetery for two years in search of Captain Hugh Mulzac’s tombstone. He stated, however, that the major source of information was his grandmother Isabella and his mother Sheila Stewart, who implanted in him the history of the island since he was a little boy.

Stewart explained that the book has 10 exciting chapters of historical information pertaining to the way of life of the islanders. Some of the topics covered are: the exodus factor, Captain Hugh Mulzac, the airport, boat launching, fishing, herbal remedies, salt picking, yesterday’s marriage, lives lost at sea, Old Year’s night, basketball, buried alive, leprosy.

The book will also have a dictionary of Union Island dialect and terms as well as island folklore such as “Do not sweep on someone’s feet or else they will never get married”. Other historic events and persons that were never mentioned in other material written about the island will also be covered in his book.

Stewart stated that the book targets persons who are interested in understanding the detailed past of the island and can also be used as an academic tool in schools. He stated “it is important for the youths of today to know how their fore parents survived in the time before”.

Stewart, born in 1961 on Union Island, travelled between Union Island and Trinidad and Tobago as a young boy. He now resides in the USA where he works in the medical field. Stewart is also a carpenter, entrepreneur and an innovator, having invented a few tools over the years. He hinted that he recently invented a tool that can be used in the medical field, but is yet to patent it.

“Union Island Then and Now” will be available for sale online for the Kindle and other reading devices; a limited number of hard copies will be printed.

Over the years, other writers such as Gloria Stewart Morgan,Vernalyn Blencowe and Jacques Daudin have written about different aspects of the culture and personalities of Union Island.