San­dals Hon­ours Com­mon­wealth Medal-win­ning Saint Lu­cian Em­ployee

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

Saint Lu­cian Zacheus Do­minique, a life­guard and Aqua Cen­ter em­ployee at San­dals Re­gency LaToc Golf Re­sort & Spa, has earned the Com­mon­wealth Mount­bat­ten Medal – sec­ond only to the global group­ing’s life­time achieve­ment hon­ours.

Do­minique, who is also a mem­ber of the Saint Lu­cia Life Sav­ing So­ci­ety – an af­fil­i­ate of the Com­mon­wealth Royal Life Sav­ing So­ci­ety (RLSS), was recog­nised for his hero­ics on Mon­day Fe­bru­ary 23, 2015 at the LaToc beach where he saved a lo­cal com­mu­nity res­i­dent from drown­ing and sev­eral oth­ers from the over­all harsh con­di­tions of the rough seas, through his vig­i­lance and per­sis­tence.

In hon­our of this, San­dals Re­sorts In­ter­na­tional has com­mit­ted to cov­er­ing all of Do­minique’s ex­penses to re­ceive this hon­our in per­son at Buck­ing­ham Palace in Novem­ber of this year. Praise and con­grat­u­la­tions con­tinue to pour in from San­dals Deputy Chair­man & Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Adam Ste­wart and many oth­ers on Do­minique’s achieve­ment.

De­tails for the medal state, “The Mount­bat­ten Medal is awarded an­nu­ally for the most gal­lant res­cue or res­cue at­tempt un­der­taken in the pre­vi­ous cal­en­dar year. The holder, or pre­vi­ous holder, of a life­sav­ing award de­liv­ered by a Royal Life Sav­ing So­ci­ety Mem­ber Branch, must have made the res­cue. It can only be awarded to a cit­i­zen from a Com­mon­wealth Na­tion, but the res­cue or res­cue at­tempt can be per­formed any­where in the world.”

Gen­eral Man­ager for San­dals Re­gency LaToc Golf Re­sort & Spa, Michael James, has joined hands with the en­tire LaToc team in ex­tend­ing words of con­grat­u­la­tions to Zacheus Do­minique and his Aqua Cen­ter team for an ex­cep­tional job in mon­i­tor­ing and pre­serv­ing life along the is­land’s cru­cial coast­line.

“As life­guards, Zacheus and his team have the chal­lenge of mon­i­tor­ing and pro­tect­ing the lives of all the re­sort’s 660 guests at ca­pac­ity, as well as the gen­eral pub­lic who ac­cess the LaToc beach on a daily ba­sis. It is not an easy task and we know, as is­landers, how pub­lic hol­i­days and beach re­cre­ation come to­gether,” James said.

Re­cently San­dals LaToc hon­oured Zacheus Do­minique for his Com­mon­wealth recog­ni­tion dur­ing a small “Pres­ti­gious Award” cer­e­mony at the re­sort. He was also in­formed of the full fi­nan­cial sup­port for him in be­ing able to re­ceive his hon­our in per­son.

In a brief and emo­tional state­ment Do­minique con­tin­ued to ex­tend con­do­lences to the fam­ily of the two other in­di­vid­u­als whose lives were trag­i­cally lost on that fate­ful day and has pledged to con­tinue to po­lice the beach in the in­ter­est of safety and hu­man­ity. The vic­tims of the Fe­bru­ary 23, 2015 tragedy were not guests of San­dals Re­sorts.

Wa­ter Sports Man­ager for San­dals Re­gency LaToc, Ray­mond Camp­bell, joined in ex­tend­ing com­men­da­tions to his col­league and re­minded of his de­part­ment’s com­mit­ment to the con­tin­ued train­ing and de­vel­op­ment of its team tal­ents, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing the sen­si­tiv­ity of their func­tion.

“For us in the Aqua Cen­ter, our re­spon­si­bil­i­ties go be­yond our own small de­part­ment and team com­ple­ment. We owe it to our guests and is­landers alike, who use our beaches, to be al­ways pre­pared and vig­i­lant for any even­tu­al­ity. We are proud that Zac was able to use his train­ing and in­stincts to save as many as he could, be­gin­ning first with a re­minder of cau­tion to all beach go­ers,” Camp­bell said cit­ing also the com­pany’s ex­ten­sive PADI Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­gramme avail­able for all team tal­ents.

The par­tic­u­lars of the tragic day were well recorded in lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional press, all of which bears tes­ta­ment to Do­minique’s dis­play of calm, pro­fes­sion­al­ism and ded­i­ca­tion to the pro­tec­tion and preser­va­tion of life.

The cen­tury-old RLSS is rep­re­sented in some 50 Com­mon­wealth na­tions in­clud­ing Saint Lu­cia. HM Queen El­iz­a­beth is the Pa­tron and HRH Prince Michael of Kent is the ac­tive Com­mon­wealth Pres­i­dent. The so­ci­ety is the recog­nised leader of wa­ter safety ed­u­ca­tion, life­sav­ing and life­guard­ing in the Com­mon­wealth, and it gives a high pri­or­ity to the ac­tive pro­mo­tion of life­sav­ing skills in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries.

Carol De­vaux of the Saint Lu­cia Life Sav­ing So­ci­ety, who was on hand to con­grat­u­late Do­minique on his achieve­ment, ad­vised that re­cent re­cip­i­ents of the Mount­bat­ten Medal have been from Canada, UK, In­dia and Mau­ri­tius.

“This year it has been won by a Saint Lu­cian na­tional life­guard trained by the Saint Lu­cia Life Sav­ing So­ci­ety and the Cana­dian Life­sav­ing So­ci­ety – Zac Do­minique who works at San­dals Re­gency Re­sort at La Toc. This medal will be awarded to Zac for the res­cue he per­formed on Fe­bru­ary 23, 2015,” De­vaux an­nounced.

Zacheus Do­minique (sec­ond right), win­ner of the 2016 Com­mon­wealth Mount­bat­ten Medal with Gen­eral Man­ager for San­dals Re­gency LaToc Michael James (far right), plus John Bruce (far left) and Carol De­vaux (sec­ond left) of the Saint Lu­cia Life Sav­ing So­ci­ety.

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