TRIBUTE TO ADRIEN DURAND
Adrien Durand was born on January 23, 1966. He married Noelyn Lynn Edwards and in his lifetime was the father of one son, Muctaru Durand and one daughter, Stephanie Durand. Although he died at the tender age of 42, he had a prominent life, especially in academia. He had 23 years of experience in teaching, which began at the St. Mary's Academy where he taught Integrated Science, Mathematics and Physics for 12 years.
In 1998, Adrien left the St. Mary's Academy to take up a new challenge of Mathematics Lecturer at the Dominica Teachers' Training College which merged with the Clifton Dupigny Community College to form the Dominica State College.
The private sector took note of his unique ability to understand the critical elements of an issue and then identify workable strategies for resolution.
In 1995 he was appointed as a member of the DOWASCO Board of Directors in which his leadership skills made way for him to rise quickly to the position of Chairman. Adrien had a passion for community development and made significant contributions to the development of the Bath Estate Development Committee. He was also a sports enthusiast and once played football at the national first division level.
Indeed, Adrien made a significant contribution to society in his lifetime. The effects will color education in Dominica for a very long time. May his rich life serve as a catalyst for many as they aspire towards great achievements. Thanks be to Almighty God, our gracious Father, for the blessings we received from the life of Adrien Glenford Durand.
Written by Noelyn Lynn Durand
TRIBUTE TO CUTHBERT J. J. ELWIN
Cuthbert John Joseph Elwin was born on March 19, 1954 to Alan Elwin of Roseau and Lena Adams of St. Joseph. He was the first of his mother’s children and the last of his father’s children. He attended the Convent Preparatory School, then the St. Mary’s Academy followed by the Sixth Form College where he focused on his favourite subjects, Biology and Chemistry.
In the mid-seventies, he was clearly seen as a teacher since he was so involved in helping individuals improve on their reading and writing skills in his community. His career at the St. Mary’s Academy began as a lab technician in 1975. He later went to pursue higher education at the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University and was then introduced to the classroom as a Science and English teacher. He also taught English in various adult programmes including the Princess Margaret Hospital Nursing School, the Wesley High School Adult Education Programme and the St. Mary’s Academy Evening Programme. He became Vice-Principal at the St. Mary’s Academy from 1990 to 1993. In 1995 he pursued Training in Education with specialization in English at the University of New Mexico. By 1996, he became the Head of the English Department at the St. Mary’s Academy and Dean of Senior students in 2000. In 2003, he became the Principal of the school and remained in that position till his death. In 2013, he was awarded the Rochester Institute of Technology Distinguished Teacher award. In 2014 he began an online Master’s degree programme in leadership at the University of Roehampton.
He had great passion for teaching and love for students, but he was not just involved in education. He was also very active in sports, music and community works. He represented his country on the National Basketball team, participated in athletics and also played football and cricket. He coached the St. Mary’s Academy basketball team for many years, also coached the Convent High School basketball team and co-ordinated a number of summer sports programmes. He was appointed manager of the Dominica basketball team for the Windward Islands International Tournament held in 1993.
His favourite type of music was calypso but he loved all genres of music. He was very involved in the organization of the Junior calypso shows at the St. Mary’s Academy in the late seventies and eighties and also served as a judge for the senior calypso shows for many years as well. He was the lead singer of a few small bands that he formed and also played the guitar. He joined the Kairi School of Music at its inception, formed part of the National Choral for a while and then later became an active member of the River Song Choir.
He could never just remain idle knowing that there were things to get done. He assisted in community works in Roseau and Canefield where he resided but it is in Pottersville that he made the greatest impact. When the Potters United Sports Club was formed in the early seventies, he was elected as Secretary and then as Treasurer. Then there was the Pottersville Development Committee on which he served for many years as President and Secretary organizing adult literacy programmes, picnics and clean-up campaigns. He then founded the Nature Connection Club in an effort to help develop the community of Pottersville. In 2007, he received the mayor’s award for dedication to service.
Mr. Elwin as he was known by many was barely ever called Cuthbert simply because his upright stature just naturally demanded respect. He was a great leader, teacher and friend, and a wonderful husband. He loved his church and truly devoted his time to God and his Mother of Perpetual Help. He cared for everyone; the poor, the rich, the young, the old, the bad and the good. He was a giving man who would not hesitate to assist anyone in need. He was a real shining star.
He left behind his loving wife Desrie whom he adored and always stuck by, and his blessed children Jeannette, Jeanna and Kymora whom he greatly treasured. He also left his countless relatives and friends whom he always spoke about and cherished. He loved us dearly and that love will never die and those moments we spent with this humble gentleman will always remain in our hearts. His students of the past always reminded him of his famous statement as a teacher in the classroom, “Study or you will fail and you will fail well”, and his use of ‘half a sheet’ to do tests and if the paper was not properly cut in half, he would cut it for them even if the answers were in the way, thus teaching them to follow instructions. The present students saw uncle Cutty as the Principal and Father figure who showed tremendous compassion for them and would always remind them to study hard but if they didn’t listen he would eventually corner them with ‘the belly’ and gave them a lecture.
Cuthbert John Joseph Elwin, was a true patriot who was really admired by all. He was an inspiration and a blessing to everyone who knew him. We are surely missing his beautiful smile, his charming looks, his unique base voice and his great words of wisdom.
The Lord needed another angel and Mr. Elwin was called, but his memories on earth will last forever.
Written by Desrie Elwin