News Releases

The UWI Celebrates a Hidden History at the Returned Exile Book Launch

For Release Upon Receipt - August 30, 2017

St. Augustine

On August 17, The UWI St. Augustine’s Alma Jordan Library in collaboration with The UWI Press and Republic Bank Limited launched the book Returned Exile: A Biography of George James Christian of Dominica and the Gold Coast, 1869-1940 authored by Margaret D. Rouse-Jones and Estelle M. Appiah.

Chaired by Karen Lequay, University and Campus Librarian of Open Campus Libraries and Information Services and the St. Augustine campus, the event aimed to give an overview of the book and illuminated a dimension of the African experience not adequately captured – the story of returnees from the British West Indies to Africa. Specifically, the book tells the story of the life of pan-Africanist George James Christian who retained his Caribbean roots as he fulfilled his desire to make Africa his home. From relatively humble beginnings in Dominica in the Eastern Caribbean, Christian travelled to London in 1898 to train as a Barrister-at-law at Gray’s Inn, after which he migrated to the Gold Coast where he made his home until his death in 1940.

Rouse-Jones became interested when Appiah mentioned at their first meeting that “she was from Ghana but had West Indian roots.” This chance meeting set the stage for the authors’ decision in 1991 to write the book together – they then began to do research in London, Dominica and Ghana.  In 2005, The George James Christian Papers, over 5000 items, were donated to The University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus by Mrs. Essi Matilda Forster, Estelle Appiah’s mother and they are housed in the West Indiana and Special Collections Division of the Main Library.  The collection was closed for ten years and opened to the public in 2016. Dr. John Campbell, Senior Lecturer, History Department, The UWI St. Augustine gave an instructive and insightful review of the book. The event ended with a presentation of the books followed by a book signing. 


About The UWI

Since its inception in 1948, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged, regional University with well over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Open Campus. The UWI has faculty and students from more than 40 countries and collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology and Social Sciences. UWI’s seven priority focal areas are linked closely to the priorities identified by CARICOM and take into account such over-arching areas of concern to the region as environmental issues, health and wellness, gender equity and the critical importance of innovation. Website:

(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)