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8th Edition Of The Mariner: Message From The Chairman

The note below is the opening address from the Chairman of the Association of Nigerian Authors, Bayelsa State, Chapter. 


With a new Exco on board, it's a wonderful feeling to birth yet another edition of The Mariner, journal of ANA Bayelsa. The Chapter is 16 years old and growing strong. Every Executive Committee that came on board has produced at least one edition of The Mariner. It is now a tradition for every new Executive to strive to publish an edition of the journal. This time, The Mariner is on a larger scale, with a wider scope, and coverage, having writers from different parts of the world personally sending in their entries!       

My heart is filled with gratitude to God for how far we have come. Some members have had the opportunity of publishing their works for the first time, on The Mariner. And I can't help appreciating every writer of ANA Bayelsa, especially those who have contributed immensely to the growth of our beloved Chapter. A big thank you to all our Patrons. Many thanks to all the past Chairmen, and their Executives as well. We appreciate those members, associates, friends and family, who attend our monthly activities, provide venues, secretariat, and hosts us. Thank you too, our resource persons. Thank you to all who dedicated time, energy and resources to the growth of ANA Bayelsa. May God always remember you in your time of need. Special thanks also go to the Governor of Bayelsa State Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson, for his support, and fervent interest in education. The Chairman of the Programmes, Projects, Fund Drive Forum, PFDF, High Chief Seiyifa Koroye, and his team have been wonderful. Some of our benefactors, we have publicly appreciated, and others we shall acknowledge in the near future. Thanks to our foot soldiers who make things happen, like this journal and our book projects.

Thanks equally go to all the standing committees saddled with the job of ensuring that our vision and mission for the year 2018 are accomplished.

The appreciation laps on in ripples ...This year's theme for the Mariner, LET THE INK FLOW, though simple, is the crux of the whole matter: the foundation of what we know as creative writing. We appreciate from the depths of our hearts all the inventors of good things worldwide. Every good invention and discovery has together made our lives so beautiful and complete; from stone age to the present day ICT. I particularly appreciate those who invented the hieroglypphics, cuneform and other alphabets & figures used in various languages through the years. They have impacted every civilization and profession under the sun. I especially acknowledge those who invented the papyrus, ink, and the feather quill - so cute - the "ballpoint" of those days.

What could the world have been like without writing materials; without the written word? This seemingly minute invention of paper and ink brought about groundbreaking inventions of all time! These particular feats made possible the preservation of knowledge of all kinds handed down, so that people from different times and climes have benefited and are still benefiting from them. Research centres, institutions, libraries, archives, organizations, inventions and discoveries have thrived as a result of the invention of paper and ink. And the world has been the better for it through the centuries. Imagine a world without papyrus, ink and the quill; and subsequent invention of books, typewriters, xerox, printers etc that led to the computer and the internet world. On those initially simple, crude, now laughable materials were anchored great knowledge, discoveries, history and inventions. I do not know of any civilization that was not touched and positively affected by the art of writing, be on pottery, papyrus in Egypt, rags, wood pulp, wax tablets, walls, floors, ceramics, animal hides, stone, bamboo books in China, leaves of the palm tree in India, ostraka, pergamun, parchment etc. From as simple and insignificant as personal notes, signs, private letters to documents, official decrees, literary and paralitery texts, information recording and storage, messages, MoUs, communications, diagrams, descriptions and prescriptions, maps, tax receipts, discoveries, inventions, instructions and books; the ink in form of charcoal, soot, burned oil or wood etc, flowed like rivers through the centuries and united the world . The list is endless. 

Behold the FACE of this issue

Things are taken for granted when they are commonplace. Things seen in our traditional environment are often not taken seriously as much as those we find in strange lands, hence, the growth of tourism. Things become all too familiar and we lose sight of their presence and relevance. For example, our hands are taken for granted until something happens to them, and so are the paper and ink. We have them, so they may not appear to mean much, but they have been a shoulder to and on which every enlightenment has rested. We are very familiar with writing and can easily take it for granted too, but it is the foundation of all extensive and progressive communications, discoveries, inventions civilizations and knowledge all over the world. Writing is precious and so powerful, it rules the world! Ideas that rule the world are written down in one form or the other. Writing is an idea being written. It illuminates, frees, builds up, unites, gives life, nurtures, heals, promotes and makes happy. Writing brings about peace, understanding, enlightenment, entertainment, and preservation. On the other hand, writing can destroy, disunite, make sad, brew hatred, brings about war, misunderstanding, destruction, misinformation and misdirection. Writings have turned around a people's behaviour, mindset, and destiny. It has the power to make even the most powerful person quake and the weakest have hope. No wonder the pen is said to be mightier than the sword, as it can accomplish what weapons of war are incapable of.

That is the kind of tool we wield as writers. It is a tool that is not limited by or to any profession. The writer ventures into every field of endeavour under the sun. And in every profession, there are writers. Any profession without writers would go into extinction. Writing is the lifewire of how far we have come in human civilization. And the creative writer is one who sets the pace and others follow in creative imaginations, ideas, ideals, principles and characterizations. The writer in each civilization or period sees in his or her imagination, before the researcher, inventor and the discoverer. The writer is like a prophet, a road sign, pointing out the way to go. The one who wields the ink, points out the sins or otherwise of the world, like a flash of lightning in a dark place. The writer must as a duty live above board if he or she must make an impact in his or her community and world. 

To preserve humanity and the civilizations of the world; to point the way forward to further inventions, discoveries, research, knowledge and acceptable behaviour, writers, as watchmen and prophets of the world, must as a matter of honour, good conscience, and without fear or favour, but with caution, LET THE INK FLOW!


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