ST LUCIA’S best known and most decorated doctor and diplomat, Matthew Anthony Cox Beaubrun has passed away.
Dr.Beaubrun, who attended St Mary’s College, served as advisor in Latin American and regional affairs to the St Lucian government for many years. After his long and successful practice in Jamaica he was posted to Caracas, Venezuela as resident Ambassador with non resident postings to other Latin American countries. He died at Tapion Hospital on December 21 at the age of 85.
Beaubrun was the patriarch of a well known St Lucian family, which operates Cox and Company and was its Chairman for many years.
Beaubrun had been in private practice from 1962 after he graduated from the University College of Cork, University College of Ireland in 1956. He did his internship in medicine at Mercy Hospital in Cork and in surgery at Warwick Hospital in England.
Returning to the Caribbean he held a number of important positions starting as Medical Officer at the Barbados General Hospital from 1957-59. This was followed by positions as Assistant Lecturer in Anatomy at the University Hospital of the West Indies and Assistant lecturer in Radiology at the same institution. In 1964, Beaubrun was appointed Acting Medical Officer for the Kingston and Lower St Andrew districts in Jamaica.
In the following years, Beaubrun was appointed to a number of prestigious positions in both the medical and diplomatic fields. He served as Past President of the Commonwealth Medical Association, the Jamaica Association of Francophone Doctors, the Caribbean Federation of Medical Health, the Medical Association of Jamaica, and the Jamaica Association of Catholic Doctors.
He was a former Chairman of the Commonwealth Caribbean Medical Council, The Institute of Sports of Jamaica, the Norman Manley Foundation and held membership of a number of other Boards including the World Federation for Mental Health, the Jamaica Sports Medicine Association, the Medical Council of Jamaica, the Diplomatic Association of Venezuela and the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations.
Beaubrun was a long time member of the Jaycees organization and served as Vice President of the West Indies Chapter before becoming a Senator of the world body, Junior Chamber International.
Appointed as Jamaica’s Ambassador to Venezuela in 1989, Beaubrun later became Dean of Caribbean Ambassadors in Venezuela. Identified with the People’s National Party (PNP) of Jamaica, he was a close friend of the late Prime Minister Michael Manley. He served as chairman of the PNP’s foreign committee and headed its European and Socialist International and Latin American Affairs sections. Later he became non resident Ambassador to a number of Latin American countries including Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Peru and Haiti and Consul General to the Netherlands Antilles.
Beaubrun was frequently decorated with national honours and awards conferred by countries such as Portugal, Venezuela, Chile and France. In 1997, he received an award from the Spanish-Portuguese Ibero-American Press as one who did most for the integration process between Latin America and the Caribbean.
Beaubrun’s leadership in the planning and implementation of international conferences hosted by the Medical Association of Jamaica (MAJ), some of which featured simultaneous translations services, was a vital component in the pursuit of his vision of a Commonwealth Caribbean Medical Association and the leadership role that the MAJ took in the Commonwealth Medical Association. In recognition of these initiatives, he was named Patron of the Caribbean College of Family Physicians and received honours and decorations of nations around the world.
It was during his Presidency that the MAJ President’s Badge of Office was commissioned, funded from the proceeds of successful MAJ conferences and social events. In 2003, Beaubrun was elevated to the Fellowship of the Caribbean College of Family Physicians for his “outstanding work towards the achievement of the lofty ideals of the Medical Association of Jamaica”.
The funeral service for Dr.Beaubrun will be held at the Our Lady of Fatima Church in La Clery on January 7.