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Statement by Prime Minister The Honourable Stephenson King at The Tribute Forum for The Late Patricia Ellen Charles - March 04, 2010

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Statement by

Prime Minister The Honourable Stephenson King

at The Tribute Forum

For The Late Patricia Ellen Charles and the Launch of

The Pat Charles Endowment For The Arts

March 04, 2010

At The Sandals Regency, La Toc


Permit me Mr. Chairman to begin by extending on behalf of the government and people of Saint Lucia, and on my own behalf, our deepest sympathy, to the family, friends and loved ones of the late Patricia Ellen Charles, affectionately known as “Pat”, on her passing. 

On occasions like these, words on their own can hardly serve as comfort as you ponder on the loss of one so loved, so cherished, so dear; one who has touched so many lives, brought happiness, laughter, to numerous persons, the full extent of which we may never know; but at least to some extent one can find solace in the knowledge that hers was a life that has been lived to the fullest, in all its splendour, in all its sincerity, in all its humanity, dignity and abiding love for others.

Patricia Ellen Charles, may not have been born in Saint Lucia, her naval strings may not have been buried here to use the local saying, but Pat, epitomized everything Saint Lucian; every bone in her body, every sinew, reflected a “Saint Lucianess” that we would do well if we were able to inculcate even a fraction of in the next and future generations of Saint Lucians.

1959; the year of my birth, was to mark a turning point in the life of Pat Charles, for that was the year; that having married “Bam”, she set out on a journey that would take her to a new life, a new environment. In a sense, she was setting out on a journey into the unknown, but, as was later to become so typical of her, she embarked on this new road full of optimism and purpose, determined to find her own niche in her new home.

Much has been said already this morning of her contribution to the arts and culture, by persons much more eminently qualified than me to do so; as so many of you have been her colleagues and have partnered and traveled with her along this journey. But whether it be the arts, culture, education, or sports, all areas in which her contribution has been legendary, it has been her overall impact on national development, and the use of these avenues as vehicles for furthering the development of people, and by extension her country, that to my mind underpin her many achievements.

Pat Charles exuded confidence, humanity, compassion, love, vision, creativity and an abundance of energy.  Whatever she did, she set out to do it well - there were no short cuts, no quick fixes. The pursuit of excellence is what was always her objective and was reflected in all that she did. Her record of public service stands out as eloquent testimony and the legacy that she has left is one we can all be proud of.

The launching of the Pat Charles endowment for the arts today is therefore a fitting tribute to her legacy and her memory. It should serve as a small token of our appreciation for all that she has done for Saint Lucia and Saint Lucians more particularly in the areas of arts and culture.

The government of Saint Lucia is indeed very grateful for the contribution that Pat Charles has made to our development.  We therefore welcome the launch of this endowment in her name and to underline our whole-hearted support.  Government therefore pledges to make a significant contribution to this fund, and in this regard it is my pleasure to announce a commitment of EC$100,000.00 as part of our initial investment towards the development of the cultural industries. Her work must be continued and her efforts must not be in vain.

May her soul rest in peace.


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