Logos Hope, the world’s largest book fair opened up to the public in Kingstown on Tuesday after a formal opening ceremony aboard the ship.
Captain Samuel Hils said that Logos Hope “is not only the book shop, it is not only the shop coming to your country, exploring your country, it is not only the ship where teams are going in to your community, it is also our home, our ship.
“It is our delight to welcome you onboard our ship, our home,” he said, noting that the ship is a multicultural community.
He said that getting to know the community is its main focus when Logos Hope visits a port.
“And we are really looking forward to getting to this next two weeks in your country, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”
He said that teams from the Logos will visit the Grenadines because residents there might not be able to visit the ship in Kingstown.
Managing Director of Logos Hope, Phil-hun Park said that the mission of Logos Hope is to advance the wellbeing of people everywhere.
He said this is achieved in several ways, including sharing knowledge by making many good books available and sharing by assisting educational and healthcare projects.
Park said that visitors often ask about the challenges of surviving in an international community.
“Although we face difficulties from time to time, we live and work together on the ship by seeking to understand others’ point of view. We say to our people, ‘If you don’t understand, don’t misunderstand and do all you can to build some understanding.’”
He said this is taught by the Bible verse Philippians 2:3, which exhorts considering others more important than oneself.
Acting Prime Minister Sir Louis Straker welcomed the ship on behalf of the Government and people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
“This ship is unique. With your many cultures, your many languages, your many nations represented here, one cannot but feel, to say as the psalmist David said, behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.”
Sir Louis said that the ship is an object lesson of how people can come from different backgrounds and can dwell together in a community in peace and in love.
“We trust that many of us would take this as an example, regardless of our political culture and belief, regardless of your background that we can learn to understand and not to misunderstand.”
He said the ship brings hope, help and knowledge to the various countries that it visits.
“And not only by means of the books but I am told that they have also have aid and relief projects, which include post-civil war reconciliation which they did in Papua New Guinea, orphanages in Myanmar, Liberia, rebuilding homes in Nicaragua and Grenada and distributing books in Sudan and East Timor.”
The acting prime minister said that he has been told that while in SVG, Logos Hope will be involved in conferences for men, women, youth and children.
“So we appreciate what they have brought to our shores here.”
He noted that there are 5,000 titles onboard the vessel, saying that nowhere else in St. Vincent can one find as many titles on sale.
“These books would not only tend to inform but they would tend to reform because it is one thing to have the knowledge but the knowledge will be useless unless we take that knowledge inside of us to make us better persons either by informing ourselves and reforming ourselves to make us better men and women.”
Sir Louis said that Vincentians need to appreciate reading.
“Much of the ignorance that we see around us it is because men and women and boys and girls do not devote themselves to a greater degree in reading,” he said, noting that there are books of all kinds aboard the vessel.
Logos Hope, which is docked at Port Kingstown and can be accessed via the Geest Shed, will remain open to the public until Dec. 3.
It will be opened from Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sundays.
The ship received some 50,000 visits when it last called at St. Vincent in 2009.