Car­ni­val Send Off for Andy!

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By Ni­cole McDon­ald

Most of us have be­come used to peo­ple star­ing into their phones at par­ties. We hardly talk to one an­other. The con­stant self­ies and making sure we use the cor­rect fil­ter and catch the light just right is the pre­dom­i­nant pre­oc­cu­pa­tion. Why should you dance in front of your mir­ror when you can whine, trem­ble and work-work-work it for your selfie sticks—all for the ap­proval of your hun­dreds of Face­book “friends”?

The barely-clothed crowd at Brazen, one of the hottest new par­ties of the sea­son at Pi­geon Is­land beach, was no dif­fer­ent, at least for the first few hours. Then about 7:30pm ev­ery­one seemed to be star­ing in ut­ter dis­be­lief at their cell phones with the same im­age of a mu­ti­lated body in a man­gled wreck that at one time may have been an SUV. Some hud­dled to­gether in shock near the beach to get away from the mu­sic. Peo­ple fran­ti­cally made calls to rel­a­tives and reg­u­lar friends.

“It is true? Is it re­ally him?” Many were cry­ing. Oth­ers packed up their cool­ers still filled with booze. The party was sud­denly over.

“You will never guess whose body they say that is,” a friend told me, hands over her mouth, head low­ered. “They say it’s Andy . . . Andy Del­mar.” Just then, the dee­jay low­ered the mu­sic: “We just heard we lost some­one who is very close to the Car­ni­val fra­ter­nity,” he said. “Peo­ple, be care­ful on the roads.”

Mere hours be­fore thou­sands of rev­ellers were to take to the streets in the is­land’s largest fes­ti­val, Andy Del­mar - one of the founders and own­ers of the big­gest car­ni­val band in Saint Lu­cia - was dead.

Po­lice are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the July 17th ac­ci­dent on the Mil­len­nium High­way, try­ing to piece to­gether how it all hap­pened. Just as pic­tures of the dis­fig­ured body of Del­mar went vi­ral on so­cial me­dia, so the long skid marks left by the truck in the col­li­sion that killed him have been making the rounds. Two other in­di­vid­u­als suf­fered mi­nor in­juries in the same ac­ci­dent.

By Car­ni­val Mon­day ev­ery­one knew Andy Del­mar was more than Just 4 Fun’s nicest guy one could ever hope to meet. He was a fa­ther; he was a hus­band; he was the man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of 1st Na­tional Bank Ltd, ap­pointed in 2014. He was also the cur­rent Pres­i­dent of the Bankers As­so­ci­a­tion of Saint Lu­cia.

On Car­ni­val Mon­day and Tues­day the Just 4 Fun Car­ni­val Band was cer­tainly not its usual lively self, al­though not for lack of try­ing. Hang­ing off the side of the mu­sic truck was a large ban­ner that fea­tured a very much alive Del­mar’s smil­ing face. The dee­jay urged the rev­ellers to “Do it Just 4 Andy. Take a Jump for Andy!”

De­spite the pleas to keep the party go­ing, Just 4 Fun just never hit its peak. Con­do­lences con­tinue to pour in: from the Gover­nor of the East­ern Caribbean Cen­tral Bank (ECCB) Ti­mothy N. J. An­toine who said, “Andy demon­strated strong leadership of the re­cently re­vived ECCU Bankers As­so­ci­a­tion and had great plans. We re­garded him as a will­ing and able part­ner and were look­ing for­ward to do­ing some pro­gres­sive things to­gether to take our bank­ing in­dus­try to the next level.”

Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of the OECS sec­re­tar­iat Di­da­cus Jules called Del­mar “a banker of ex­tra­or­di­nary vi­sion, sen­si­tiv­ity and imag­i­na­tion who viewed his pro­fes­sion as a fa­cil­i­ta­tor of fi­nan­cial op­por­tu­nity for per­sons from all walks of life. Andy was a pro­fes­sional of un­matched com­pe­tence and a pas­sion­ate per­son driven to ex­cel­lence in all that he did . . . But above all he was a won­der­ful, gen­tle, joy­ful per­son, a lov­ing hus­band and ded­i­cated fa­ther.”

From the St Lu­cia Bankers As­so­ci­a­tion: “Andy was well liked and re­spected, hav­ing pro­vided dy­namic leadership dur­ing his pres­i­dency. We will al­ways be grate­ful for his con­tri­bu­tion to the as­so­ci­a­tion and the fi­nan­cial in­dus­try as a whole. He will be greatly missed.”

A post-mortem on Tues­day re­vealed that Andy Del­mar died from “trau­matic brain in­jury sec­ondary to trau­matic head in­jury.” Thank­fully, the ubiq­ui­tous hor­ror im­ages have been re­placed by photos of the man who so many remember was “al­ways smil­ing”.

The pop­u­lar banker and owner of the Just 4 Fun car­ni­val band lost his life at the weekend in a traf­fic ac­ci­dent.

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