ANOTHER BOOK in 2013 by Norris Mitchell

The author of “Dynamics of Urban St. George,” which was launched earlier this year, is pleased to announce the publication of another book in 2013 entitled: “In the Shadow of the Palace – The making of an Architect”.

Unlike Dynamics of Urban St. George which is a commercial text and reference book for primary, secondary and tertiary students, “In the Shadow of the Palace’’ is an historic family heirloom, depicting the life of the author from his childhood days on the Lance in Gouyave to the present.

Mitchell is a Chartered Architect and Urban Planner, and has practiced his profession in many countries of the world. He is the founder of the Willie Redhead Foundation and has been its President from 1994 -2012, and has been both an advocate and activist for the protection and enhancement of our natural and cultural heritage, for these reasons the Sentinel is pleased to provide a book review for readers’ information.

In this regard the INTRODUCTION to the book on page xvii by Mecada Djabatey, would in the Sentinel’s view, provide an appropriate OVERVIEW:


“Present and future generations of Gouyavarians, and hopefully Grenadians, or even Guyanese, will have reason to praise the foresight of the author in putting pen to paper, chronicling the events of his life.

The wisdom gained from a lifetime of knowledge, experience, and expertise will serve as a “beacon marking the way” for those coming after, who possess the determination and gumption to pursue their dreams to reality, regardless of the naysayers who would put hurdles in the way, so that their prophesy may be fulfilled.

In the Shadow of the Palace is a thought-provoking and inspiring story, taking the reader on a magnificent journey through real-life struggles. This memoir gives an account of a boy growing up in Gouyave, a little town in Grenada, and his unwavering determination to succeed in his chosen career of architecture, even in the face of abject poverty and discrimination.

Invaluable lessons learned from his parents and the world around him provided a solid foundation which guided him through his early life.

The reader is awed by the self-discipline and financial savvy of this young man. As a petroleum laboratory technician in Curacao, he managed to pay for his boarding and lodging, as well as provide support for his parents in Grenada. He was also able to save for the travel expenses to England and paid for three years of the five years’ academic tuition (together with living expenses) while attending the School of Architecture.

The memoir takes you through the challenges of racism faced by a black qualified architect working in London, England and Nigeria. The sobering realities of colonial dominance which permeated the Nigerian establishment also presented challengers to this young man who was unfazed by the hard work necessary to overcome these obstacles.

The reader shares the euphoria as the boy from Gouyave reaches his professional pinnacle, opening a successful architectural practice in Guyana and later winning a national architectural competition to design the iconic Guyana National Cultural Centre, a performing ARTS THEATRE, the largest of it type in the English speaking Caribbean for 2500 patrons.

The memoir reflects a life driven by purpose, motivated by excellence, and inspired by the realisation that perseverance can overcome difficulties, with the lesson that what may seemingly be a challenge can be transformed into an opportunity.”

The Sentinel takes this opportunity to wish the President, Directors and members of the Foundation, and to all our well wishers and supporters including the MEDIA, a Merry Christmas and hopefully a bright and prosperous New Year.

(The above reflects the views of the Willie Redhead Foundation Presentation)

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