Saint Lu­cia loses an­other Iconic Fig­ure

The Star (St. Lucia) - - INTERNATIONAL - By

STAR Reporter

Yes­ter­day, Fri­day Fe­bru­ary 12, 2016, the fam­ily and friends of Hil­dreth Sanchez SLPM (Gold), BSCE, B.Sc. M.S.E. bade him farewell as he was laid to rest at the Choc ceme­tery. This, af­ter mov­ing tributes at the La Clery parish church to a man who had helped set the foun­da­tion for what is now the Wa­ter and Sew­er­age Au­thor­ity. He and his wife had also been the pro­pri­etors of what was once known as “Sanchez gas sta­tion” on Chaussee road. He was pre­de­ceased by his wife and leaves be­hind two sons, Ian and An­dreas Sanchez, and two daugh­ters, Hazel and Jackie Sanchez.

Hil­dreth Sanchez passed away on Mon­day Fe­bru­ary 1 at his home in Sans Souci af­ter a pro­longed ill­ness. He was 82.

“My grand­fa­ther Hil­dreth Sanchez ap­proached life with such prag­ma­tism and en­thu­si­asm. My grand­fa­ther was a man who not only spoke about ex­cel­lence but he dis­played it ev­ery day of his life. He lived a pos­i­tive, suc­cess­ful life; he was called ‘Boss’ by his em­ploy­ees, chil­dren and even his grand­chil­dren. ‘Boss’ was an am­bi­tious, ded­i­cated, in­trin­si­cally mo­ti­vated, in­sight­ful man who, like any other Sa­mar­ian, be­lieved that the top is reached by striv­ing,” re­called one of his grand­chil­dren, Miguel Sanchez, dur­ing the Eu­logy. HIL­DRETH MARTIN SANCHEZ was born on 12th Novem­ber, 1933, the son of Wal­lace Sanchez and Eu­lalie Dubois. He at­tended RC Boys School from 1938 and then, in 1945, en­tered the St. Mary’s Col­lege grad­u­at­ing in 1951. Af­ter grad­u­at­ing from SMC he en­tered the Civil Ser­vice where he was as­signed to the Pub­lic Works Depart­ment as a Clerk. His three-year as­sign­ment ex­posed him to en­gi­neer­ing that sparked in him the am­bi­tion of be­com­ing a Civil En­gi­neer.

Hil­dreth then at­tended the Queens Univer­sity at Kingston, On­tario, Canada in Septem­ber 1954 and in May 1959 he grad­u­ated with a BSc in Civil En­gi­neer­ing. Upon his grad­u­a­tion he re­mained in Canada and worked for Bell Tele­phone Co.

In 1960 Hil­dreth was ap­pointed ex­ec­u­tive en­gi­neer in Saint Lu­cia at what was then known as the Min­istry of Pub­lic Works and was the over­seer of all new roads through­out the is­land as well as the ex­ten­sion of the Vigie air­port. This stint was cut short af­ter he was awarded a World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion (WHO) fel­low­ship to study for a Mas­ter of Sci­ence En­gi­neer­ing De­gree in San­i­tary En­gi­neer­ing at John’s Hop­kins Univer­sity in Bal­ti­more, Mary­land. He grad­u­ated in 1963 and the fol­low­ing year re­turned to Saint Lu­cia and the Pub­lic Works Depart­ment as a Wa­ter En­gi­neer with re­spon­si­bil­ity for the is­land wa­ter sup­ply, all ex­cept Cas­tries which was man­aged by the Coun­cil.

The Wa­ter and Sew­er­age Au­thor­ity (WASA) was formed in 1967 and Hil­dreth Sanchez was sec­onded to the new com­pany, head­quar­tered at Barnard’s Hill. That year the as­sets of the Cas­tries Wa­ter Sup­ply were trans­ferred to the Wa­ter Au­thor­ity. He later acted in the ca­pac­ity of Sec­re­tary/Man­ager be­tween 1978-1979.

In 1989, to­gether with Winville King and John M. Cal­ixte, Hil­dreth Sanchez pro­duced the doc­u­ment ‘Wa­ter and Sew­er­age Au­thor­ity: Brief His­tory 1965 –1985’. It was WASA’s doc­u­men­ta­tion of its 20th an­niver­sary, re­pro­duced as a sou­venir to com­mem­o­rate Saint Lu­cia’s 10th an­niver­sary of In­de­pen­dence.

Each year, the Caribbean Wa­ter and Waste­water As­so­ci­a­tion (CWWA) iden­ti­fies dis­tin­guished Caribbean prac­ti­tion­ers in Wa­ter, Waste­water, Solid Waste and En­vi­ron­men­tal Sec­tors; in 1992 Hil­dreth and John Cal­ixte were rec­og­nized with the Dis­tin­guished Ser­vice Gold Award from CWWA.

As part of In­de­pen­dence Day 2002 cel­e­bra­tions, Hil­dreth Martin Sanchez was awarded the Les Pi­tons Medal (Gold).

In March 2014 the As­so­ci­a­tion of Pro­fes­sional En­gi­neers of Saint Lu­cia ac­knowl­edged a num­ber of en­gi­neers for their sus­tained and out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tions to the field of en­gi­neer­ing. Hil­dreth M. Sanchez was in­ducted as an Hon­ourary Mem­ber of the As­so­ci­a­tion.

Friends and fam­ily of the late Hil­dreth Sanchez gather to pay trib­ute Fri­day.

The late Hil­dreth M. Sanchez.

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