ALMOST three months after he received three gunshots about the body after alighting from his vehicle at his home in Balata, Councilor of the Castries City Council, Victor Maurice has died, days short of his 68th birthday coming up next month.
Maurice passed away early Tuesday morning at a hospital in Martinique where he was undergoing medical treatment after first being treated at Victoria Hospital where he was rushed to the night of the incident on 3 November 2019.
His brother, SDA Pastor Quigley Maurice said the death has hit the family hard and has brought tears and heartbreak to the Maurice clan. He likened the matter to that of a battle which will not see the family lying down.
“I know this is a battle that we, the Maurice (family), are not going to lie down. We are not going to behave bad and cry out and call names in the streets but we know what to do and we are doing it. Our God is able and he has promised that he will hear us. So again, let me say thank you to all the wonderful people who are praying, thank you to all the wonderful people who care, the battle for Mr Maurice is over. The assailant, your battle has just started,” Pastor Maurice said at a brief press conference Tuesday.
Pastor Maurice expressed his family’s appreciation to persons who prayed for his brother when he got shot and during his several surgeries both here and in Martinique.
“First of all, I would like to say thank you to the tens of thousands of people in St Lucia, around the Caribbean, North America and around the world who have been praying and have been sending WhatsApp and telephone messages consistently, giving the family all the support that is needed to remain strong. Victor Maurice fought for his life, from November 3 to this morning. It was an uphill battle for him. Many operations, going through coma, died twice on the operating table, he had a very hard time. But on Tuesday morning at five o’clock he lost the battle,” Pastor Maurice said.
He gave an insight into what his brother embodied during his lifetime saying that he was a wonderful human being.
“And I am not saying this because he is my brother. But the people who dealt with him, who walked with him, who worked with him, who shared quality time with him would know the quality of the man, that he was a wonderful human being who genuinely loved people and loved his family the best. He will be remembered for his laughter, his jokes and his desire to live,” Pastor Maurice said.
He spoke of the Maurice family as being very close-knit, members of which really love and care for each other.
“It was not cancer, or some unknown disease but it was somebody who felt it his place to gun him down. We are not upset, we are not mad, and we do not want to go into these details now. We want to mourn together. We want to embrace each other together because by getting mad it could lead to frustration and we can lose the emphasis on what’s important. What’s important is that we have lost our brother and that is hard and we will stay together and bury our brother when the time is right,” Pastor Maurice said.
He called on all Saint Lucians to assist in stopping violent crimes, such as the one which took his brother’s life, by coming together with a determination to end this scourge.
“Are we a lawless society? How many people can be gunned down without anybody answering any kind of question? What is happening to us as a country, where are we going? I understand there are over 300 unsolved murders in this country. I don’t think this one, or the others should go unnoticed. We must come out and do something about it. I refuse to blame the police. As a community we must come together. We are the ones who are going to stop it, not the police. The police are not everywhere, we are everywhere, we have the answer. My people, in order to bring this madness to a close we must work with the Saint Lucia Police Force,” Pastor Maurice encouraged.
Meanwhile condolence messages continue to pour out to the family one of which came from Prime Minister Allen Chastanet.
“I am extremely saddened to learn of the passing of Mr Victor Maurice who served as the Chairman of the UWP Castries South Constituency Branch. He was a loyal UWP supporter and a well-known vendor around the City of Castries,” Chastanet wrote on his official Facebook page, adding that he will miss Maurice’s soft spoken yet wise advice and support.
The Office of the Mayor and the Castries Constituency Council also paid tribute to their fallen comrade, describing Maurice as “a popular and hardworking nut-vendor who has served the Castries Constituency Council for many years.”
“He was well-known as an ardent advocate for the Council’s policies, being proficient in all his undertakings and a friend to all,” noted the missive from the Mayor’s office.
Expressing his sympathy, Mayor Peterson Francis said the former Councilor was a self-motivated and determined gentleman.
“This loss is sad and tragic, and we hope that the police investigation brings closure to this incident and the culprit or culprits are brought to justice,” Francis said.
He added, “We pray for strength and courage for the family at this time, as we have lost a great supporter. Councilor Maurice was a very colourful individual. He demonstrated diligence as well as unselfish and dedicated public service.”
“His contributions to the City of Castries, the Office of the Mayor and the Castries Constituency Council are well appreciated, and his demise is a great loss not only to his family and friends, but to the City of Castries,” Francis noted.
He further said that Councilor Maurice was a man of service and that his legacy of service continues as he will serve as an inspiration to future leaders within the Office of the Mayor and the CCC and is worthy of recognition.
Maurice had been serving as a Councilor since his swearing-in on August 2, 2016. He served in several capacities over the years, including as Town Clerk of the CCC, school principal, mentor and friend to many.