May they forever rest in peace
And when great souls die, after a period peace blooms, slowly and always irregularly. Spaces fill with a kind of soothing electric vibration. Our senses, restored, never to be the same, whisper to us. They existed. They existed. We can be. Be and be better. For they existed. Maya Angelou: When Great Trees Fall!
2014 Saint Lucia lost several prominent sons and daughters. While friends and families mourned, others asked who would fill the void created by their passing. Observers, not necessarily cynical, bemoaned the lack of official attention given citizens who should long ago have been recognized for their selfless service in various fields. Over and over the “dead poets society” line was heard. Louis Bertrand George: Two days into 2014, one of Helen’s most affable sons, a former education minister and outspoken politician, took his last breath. Long had he suffered the consequences of diabetes. The Micoud North parliamentary representative was 63 when he passed away on January 2. Elijah Greenidge: On June 25 the former trade unionist who had also dabbled in politics and music lost his battle with cancer at age 70. Eli, as he was popularly known, was also a Methodist preacher, a past president of the Kiwanis Club of Castries and a former senator. He once operated a very popular electronics store in Castries. He also hosted the Sunday morning religious TV Program “Walk in the Light.” Boswell Williams: The former Governor General died on July 20 at the age of 88. In his political heyday he had represented Vieux Fort in the legislature, from 1974 to 1979. He became governor general in 1980, dur- ing one of the most tumultuous years of Saint Lucian life. He left office prematurely in the political heat of 1981. Justice Madame Suzie D’Auvergne: On August 18, 2014 the island lost its first female High Court Judge, one of the most respected and revered of native jurists. She also had served as the island’s first female Solicitor General and first female Director of Public Prosecutions. She was 71. Edward “Chef Harry” Joseph: Perhaps the island’s best known hotelier, Chef Harry passed away on September 24, at age 88. Also much appreci- ated as a philanthropist he left an indelible mark on friends, employees and the numerous organizations and regular citizens. He operated the once world-renowned Green Parrot Hotel and Restaurant at Morne Fortune, with good reason. His culinary skills were legendary and he represented Saint Lucia at related off-island events. Hunter J. Francois: The erudite lawyer and politician passed away on November 15. He had served as Minister of Education, Health and Social Services from 1964 to 1974 and represented the East Castries constituency for the United Workers Party, having been elected to office in 1964. As Education Minister, Francois helped establish the forerunner to Sir Arthur Lewis Community College. The institution’s library is named in his honor. Francois left the UWP in 1974 and later joined the Saint Lucia Labour Party. He contested for the Castries Central seat without success. Hilford Deterville: On November 28, 2014 the former President of the St. Lucia Senate and former president of the Saint Lucia Bar Association passed away in Canada on November 28. He was President of the Senate from 1997 to 2003. A stalwart of the St. Lucia Labour Party, he first came to national prominence in the late 60s as a firebrand founder member of the pressure group know as the Forum. He was also a leading member of the Methodist Community in Saint Lucia.