THREE days after he passed away, my colleagues and I were chatting about our famed editor (most fondly I’ll add) and what it was like working alongside him.
They grinned as they spoke about this formidable figure and how he was a ‘menace’ at times, but overall, they emphasized, Victor Marquis was one who was ‘larger than life’, had a most unique sense of humour, was generous, and though terribly flirtatious, had a great heart above all else.
That was Mr. Marquis in a nutshell.
Actually, my colleague pointed out, midway during our discussion and news to me at that point, Victor’s full name was Edward Victor Marquis but he decided to ditch his first name for some reason.
Victor, when he worked here, was full of pep and fervour.
“Though an accountant by profession, Mr. Marquis loved writing and he was (obviously) good at it. His wit was to die for! We loved when he came to the VOICE to drop off his stories (he was a freelancer at the time) because he made us laugh constantly,” Janelle told me.
She worked with Mr. Marquis for years.
“He was always a bubbly person and (better yet) you could always go to Mr. Marquis with an issue. He was very helpful. We visited his home several times. He was a great cook and he even had a restaurant at his house at one point,” she recalled, adding that she vividly remembers his pigtail bouillon.
Victor’s house (or castle I should say) at Pavee offered a stunning view of Castries. Its arresting beauty he quickly reminded folks, was “not a view from the Mediterranean, Hawaii or any of the usually-vaunted places.”
It was “the best thing to wake up to”, he said, and I imagine it was.
A man who cared
“Mr. Marquis checked on me regularly. He always sent me messages on a morning and I sent him voice notes in return. When he didn’t send me a message on Sunday (last weekend) I found it strange. I was wondering why he didn’t send me a Jounen Kwéyòl greeting and made a note to check on him but I was so busy. Later I heard he passed away,” Rose, another colleague told me.
“It was a joy working with him,” she said radiantly.
📷 Flip through the gallery below.
“He started off as a freelancer, was hired as a reporter, and he also did the sports pages when Franklin Mc Donald worked here. I guided him during that time and he often said that he loved the Typesetting Department because the employees were helpful. Tuesdays, back then were easy (since the paper came out that day) and Mr. Marquis would make us laugh endlessly,” Rose added sincerely.
Victor Marquis was one of a kind. An all-time funny man and easy going fellow, like all of us, he had his bad side. And whenever he dared to get on the wrong side of one woman in particular, she’d set him on the ‘straight and narrow.’
But it never ended on a bad note. Later, they’d patch things up and carried on as friends do.
Another colleague told me that “we had our difference sometimes but always ended in good stead.”
“I first met Victor over 25 years ago when he dropped off his weekly article (‘Cabbages and Kings’) to the editor. At that time I worked in the Customer Service Department at the front office where he would pause for a few minutes to chat with me and my colleagues, sharing jokes and being his usual cheerful self and after a few years later, upon the resignation of our editor Mr. Franklin Mc Donald, he was given the position of editor where I had the pleasure to work directly with him as I was promoted to the Marketing Department. Victor was always a social person and made time for staff to hang out at his house where he often entertained us at his Restaurant on the Hill. We were always invited for Old Year’s night to view the fireworks. Victor was a lover of life,” Anne said in an email.
Indeed, he was. Victor lived his life unapologetically, and whilst I didn’t agree with everything he did, I don’t think we’ll ever have another editor like him (perhaps he’d chuckle if he could read this). Like Guy Ellis, Victor left an indelible mark here. And boy, his smile was so bright, it could light up these ancient halls.