Honouring Legacies and Fostering the Future-The UWI-SRC Celebrates 70 years

The UWI St. Augustine, Trinidad & Tobago. Friday, July 28, 2023- This year marks the 70th anniversary of the UWI Seismic Research Centre. As the agency that monitors monitoring earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis in the English-speaking Eastern Caribbean, the Centre has grown from a one person unit upon its inception to a full cadre of technical and scientific staff. An event, “Honouring Legacies and Fostering the Future” was held on July 21 at UWI St Augustine to commemorate the anniversary and to honor Dr The Honorable Keith Rowley, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago as the first Caribbean born scientist to head the SRC (then Seismic Research Unit).

Chaired by the current Director, Dr Erouscilla Joseph, the programme featured remarks from the principal and the UWI Chancellor, with Dr Keith Rowley as the featured speaker. Dr Joseph affirmed the Centre’s dedication to its mission and calling for continued financial an in-kind support noting that, “Our commitment to scientific excellence, regional collaboration, and the well-being of our communities has brought us this far. But our journey does not end here. Authorities must continue to invest in the future, securing our region’s resilience and ensuring a safer, more prosperous Eastern Caribbean.”

Dr Rowley was introduced by former seismologist, Dr Joan Latchman who shared her memories of Dr Rowley and his support in her academic career. Dr Rowley highlighted the significance of scientific agencies like the UWI-SRC, shared memorable anecdotes of fieldwork in the various islands and the need for such services in the seismically active Caribbean region. Congratulating the UWI’s Seismic Research Centre on the milestone achieved, Dr Rowley said, “This is a legacy not only to be cherished by those directly involved but to be nourished by every student who enters and claims UWI as alma mater. It also should be a beacon and an imprimatur for every lecturer and researcher in every single Department, with a motto that says Oriens Occidente, that light shining in the west. We are all rays in that great beam. Let us all endeavour to keep shining.”

Professor Rose-Marie Belle Antoine, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Campus Principal, The University of The West Indies (The UWI) St. Augustine Campus noted, “That the Centre is one our the flagship UWI institutions, the Seismic Research Centre has served the nation, the region and its people with distinction, passion, technical expertise over the years. It is one of these incredible institutions, like others in our UWI family, – and I dare say, like the UWI itself, – that punches way above its weight.”

Specially invited guests included the President of the Senate, Senator the Hon. Nigel de Freitas, Minister of Education, Dr. the Hon. Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, Minister in the Ministry of Education, the Hon. Lisa Morris-Julian, Minister of National Security, the Hon. Fitzgerald Hinds, Minister of Social Development and Family Services, Senator the Hon. Donna Cox, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal for the St. Augustine Campus of The University of the West Indies, Professor Rose-Marie Belle Antoine and Chancellor, The University of the West Indies, Mr Robert Bermudez, diplomats and representatives from foreign missions, and previous SRC staff.

The event also hosted an exhibition of past equipment, photos and devices used over the last 70 years and attendees were invited to view the walk in exhibition at the end of the event.