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Athabasca University

Creative Training Centre (CTC)

The Creative Training Centre (CTC) was established at Nobonob near Madang in 1970 on the site of what had been a Lutheran school. Glen Bays was its director from 1970-1973. Its existence was essentially co-terminous with Bays’ tenure as Director. The Centre represented an attempt on the part of several missionaries from different agencies to co-ordinate their efforts to train writers. In the late 1960s they formed a committee consisting of Roy Gwyther-Jones of SIL, John Sievert (Literature Development Director of Kristen Pres and frequent contributor to READ), Richard Adler (Executive Director of Kristen Pres) and others. They held workshops, mostly for other expat missionaries who produced literacy materials. A sample product of these workshops was Stories of New Guinea, produced from the writers' workshop at Lae in 1966 and published by the Board of Publication of the Lutheran Press at Madang. It contained 20 pieces of writing: 5 adventure stories, 4 stories of "the emerging culture," 3 inspirational texts, 3 historical and traditional, 2 dramatic Bible stories, 2 miscellaneous and 1 botanical. Of the 17 contributors, 14 were missionaries. The 3 native authors had stories in the historical/traditional category and in emerging culture.

CTC was an ecumenical operation aimed at producing indigenous journalists. Prior to Independence, churches in PNG had united in a number of such joint ventures. In this case, representatives of the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL), Kristen Pres (predominantly Lutheran), the Evangelical Alliance and the United Church had contacted the Agency for Christian Literature and Development of the World Council of Churches requesting a survey into the possibility of establishing a fully-developed programme for writers. The Agency sent Dr. Charles Richards, who had started the East Africa Literature Bureau, and Doris Hess of the Methodist Mission Board. Their report recommended the establishment of the Training Centre on a full-time basis, using Kristen Pres as its publishing outlet. Funding was to be supplied by the Christian Literature Fund of the World Council.

The Agency contacted journalist Glen Bays in Africa, where he was Director of the African Literature Centre at Kitwe in Zambia on the grounds of the Mendolo Ecumenical Foundation.

Updated October 13 2016 by Library Services