OBITUARY — Jill Bacon

By Ben Bacon, Former Deputy Sports Editor, The Sun, London

JILL BACON was born at Vigie, St Lucia on April 5 1930 and passed away on January 17, 2022 at Rodney Bay. She was 91.

A smiling Jill Bacon
Jill Bacon

She was the second child of Harold and Mary “Baby” Devaux and truly loved St Lucia.

She grew up on the Morne in an old barracks before the family moved to “Mount Pleasant”, Castries.

Mum particularly loved the Morne and it was there she overheard the kitchen staff talking one day about her parents, siblings and herself, passing comments on each.

Then a girl of eight or nine, she could already speak patois fluently, and she was worried what they might say about her. She need not have been.

“Miss Jill, ce sa nou,” – one said to agreement from all the others.

It translates as “Miss Jill, she’s ours.”

Mum cherished that remark her entire life, carrying it in her heart.

When she returned to St Lucia from school in Barbados and Canada in 1948, she worked as a wireless operator for Cable & Wireless on the Morne, connecting St Lucians with other islands.

After marrying in 1954, she moved to Trinidad where she had her three sons – Jos, Jeremy and Ben – before moving again, this time to England in 1966.

There she worked as an inspector for the RSPCA animal charity, and also as a form teacher at a primary school in Southgate, north London.

In England, she finally settled in an area called Bell Bar in Hertfordshire, although she returned regularly to St Lucia.

She lived at Mongiraud, and Rodney Bay for many years.

Mum loved the history of St Lucia, and also enjoyed painting, writing poetry and composing songs, some of which she recorded with herself singing. When the cricket World Cup was staged in St Lucia in 2007, she wrote a song called “Fute Bal La”, extolling the beauty of St Lucia including her favourite restaurant “Jambe de Bois” on Pigeon Island where they made her favourite accra. I once heard Sky Sports News in England playing the song.

She also loved local art. A Dunstan St Omer painting hangs at her house in England, she championed a young Gros Islet artist called John Phulchere, and admired work by Harold Simmons, who taught her as a child.

Her life was shattered though by a stroke in October 2018.

We thought she was indestructible but a boundless energy disguised a vulnerability no one knew was there until it struck with a life-altering force.  Maybe soon we will sense her spirit on a gentle breeze or when a brave, little bird hops on our breakfast tables tomorrow.

Mum’s funeral was held at Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima Church, La Clery on Thursday, February 3 and among the mourners were two of her sons, five grandchildren and one great grandchild.

She was laid to rest in the family vault at Choc Cemetery.

Jill Bacon (5.4.30-17.1.22) survived by three sons, six grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

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