Letters & Opinion

Eldon lived life to the fullest!

By Peter Josie
Image of Eldon Mathurin

ELDON was a giant of a man. I place him in the same intellectual category as Hunter Francois, Derek Walcott and George Odlum.

He attended the Castries Methodist School with Odlum and Walcott and entered St. Mary’s College at age nine. Yes, he was that bright!

Image of Eldon Mathurin
The late Eldon Mathurin was burried yesterday.

After St. Mary’s, Eldon went to England and worked at the British Post Office. He joined the British army and had to get a special dispensation (conscription) to join because he was too young at the time.

He adored his brother Guy, who was a brilliant lawyer and who set up with Sir Garnet Gordon, the first legal firm on the island.

Eldon spoke just as glowingly about Guy’s wife, the Jamaican-born Lucille Mathurin, who made a tremendous impression on the girls whom she taught at St. Joseph Convent in Castries in the late-1950s.

Eldon once insisted that I should write something in the local newspapers about his sister-in-law, which I did.

After SJC, Lucille taught at UWI, Mona and still later represented Jamaica as Ambassador to the United Nations. Their daughter Gail, Eldon’s niece, is CARICOM’s Ambassador based in Barbados.

Gail previously served Jamaica as High Commissioner in London.

Eldon worked hard throughout his life. He was passionate about the region and its people. And although he had few friends he was loyal to those whom he called friends.

1. He first worked at the British Post Office in London. He joined the British army at age 17 and had to have a special dispensation before joining.
2. He worked with Aubrey Armstrong Associates in Barbados as a Project Management Consultant.
3. He spent 1999 to 2001 helping the OECS to streamline its management structure.
4. He helped set up the telecommunications regulatory authority in Saint Lucia and became the first chairman of that regulatory body.
5. He was a member of the St. Lucia Olympic Association and was invited to India by that country’s chief athletics body when India was campaigning to host the Commonwealth Games in …..
6. He worked on the revision of the salaries of the senior civil servants in Saint Lucia and was Financial Comptroller of the St. Lucia Banana Growers Association.
7. He became senior tax adviser to the CARICOM Secretariat in Guyana and later Director of General Services Administration.
8. He travelled all over Saint Lucia with Dr. Vaughan Lewis and George Theophilus sensitizing and educating Saint Lucians on the possible formation of a political union of the OECS and its allied organs.
9. He was a member of the St. Lucia Constitution Review Commission under Justice Suzie d’Auvergne, who happened to be his neighbour.
10. For his services to Saint Lucia he was awarded the OBE

The foregoing may seem like a job resume for my friend Eldon, but, of course, none of it will be required for the new place to which he has been called. Instead, I now turn to the qualities which are most likely to impress those who guard the gates of the great Valhalla he is about to enter.

Eldon was kind and generous. He loved his children and encouraged them to discuss any matter they considered important with him. He was loyal to his friends, and he lived life to the fullest.

He often gave the quiet impression that he could drink any friend under the table — and he often did. He loved music and would burst into song when he was with friends and loved ones, listening to his golden oldies. Above all he worked hard and loved his fellow man. Eldon believed in people.

As head of the Inland Revenue department in Saint Lucia he welcome young employees that other departments could not manage for whatever reason. Eldon took them in and molded them into top performing civil servants.

He did the same at CARICOM where he worked for twelve years. People who he employed at CARICOM later excelled and became heads of their departments. At one point during his stint at CARICOM he travelled so frequently throughout the region that it was said of him “he lived in a suitcase.”

He will be greatly missed by family and friends and most especially by his dear wife Joan, his children Christopher, Guy, Cheryl, Kenneth, Jean and Simone and his many grand kids and great grands.

His funeral will take place on Friday 7th December at the St. Joseph the Worker Church, Gros Islet at 2pm.

1 Comment

  1. ELDON – ELDON – ELDON my friend is gone? no, It will take a bit for me to take it all in.
    We were pals from pretty young, Eldon lived at Waterworks and I, later after the Castries
    fire lived at the CDC. I also attended the Methodist School, adjacent to the Church having
    Teacher Alex Walcott at the time as Head Mistress. George and John Odlam, John Titley
    and many others at the time were there. Sadly all of the others I once knew have gone to
    glory, it pains me to think of them, sitting here writing this with only the memory of some of
    the most beautiful Souls our Creator Father did place on this earth, I feel very humbled and
    privileged to have been chosen at a time such as this to have played “Pan” at Teacher Alex’s
    back yard with the boys. Before classes we sang Hymns and the beautiful Carols at Christmas
    time. Now I feel bad, trying hard to beat back the tears, thinking of those innocent years when we
    had nothing to do, but to walk around by the Basin rent a boat, I would row across the Harbour to
    Lunar Park or go play at George V park (the Gardens) or go drink Squash somewhere. Them were
    the days my friend, and guess what, I’m still a kid at heart just waiting for my appointed day when my
    Father will say to me, ‘Come ye blessed, the boys are waiting.’ Eldon had a wicked sense of humour
    we often found something to laugh about, all in fun. I never met him in the U.K. but I made a point in
    seeing him every time I visited Home. Eldon was/is a giant among his peers, his nobility in the ranks
    of his friends will always last because we all loved and respected each other.Rest now my friend this
    day is gone the evening awaits and the morning of all awakening is due.The Lord Bless you and keep
    you, the Lord lifts His face upon you and gives you Peace. I love you my brother, still the same ol’ Rascal.

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