Sandals Honours Commonwealth Medal-winning Saint Lucian Employee
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.