Long before the 2pm start time there was no seating room left inside the Lady of The Purification Roman Catholic church in Laborie. Friday, March 11 was the day chosen to celebrate the life of Sir Allan Fitzgerald Laurent Louisy, fondly known as “Daddy Allan,” nine days after his passing. Governor General Dame Pearlette Louisy, Prime Minister Stephenson King and his wife, Leader of Opposition Kenny Anthony as well as other parliamentarians all attended the ceremony. The words “a mighty tree has fallen” were the first friends, family and well wishers would see once they started turning the pages of the funeral program, and indeed as the STAR went around the town residents made it clear the late Louisy had touched many lives in Laborie and he would not soon be forgotten. The STAR caught up with Cecil Chico outside the Laborie Credit Union signing a memorial book that was dedicated to Sir Allan. “He was a great man,” Chico said. “He helped the people of Laborie. He did a lot for the community.” Another resident Janitia Blasse added:
“Mr Louisy was someone who was very dear to me. He had a nickname for me, “the shabine.” It will be a very great loss to us. He will miss him. He showed humility and that’s something we are lacking in society. With his humbleness we learnt a lot. He was there for everyone and he loved kids. He always allowed children to come to him everywhere he went. He was also a fearless person. I had an experience with him I will never forget. During the time of George Odlum and himself, it was a Midnight Mass in Laborie and when Brother George came down, after the service he was saying he was ready to overtake the country. Sir Allan said he feared no one but the Lord. He just allowed him to talk and then he just walked right down the church steps right back down to Laborie. He always used to say “I am God’s child.” During his lifetime, Sir Allan served in several key positions in a number of countries and was the first supervisor of Lucelec in 1951. He was appointed Registrar and additional Magistrate of the Supreme Court in St Lucia. He was attached to the UK Colonial office legal department for three months. He served as a Registrar (Commissioner) in Montserrat for six months, and in the island of Antigua, he was appointed Senior Magistrate and acted as Crown Attorney for six more months. He was also Dominica’s acting crown attorney for a period of six months. Louisy also held the position of Registrar at the Court of Appeal in Jamaica. He was Resident Magistrate there. Sir Allan was appointed judge of the Supreme Court of the Windward and Leeward Islands and later, the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court. Sir Allan was St Lucia’s second prime minister and as the party’s elected political leader, he led the St Lucia Labour Party to victory at the polls in 1979. He served as prime minister for a short stint from 1979 to 1981 before resigning and handing over the reign to Michael Pilgrim.
“I’d give him an A-plus for the way he lived his life,” Dr Conventry Louisy announced in his part of the eulogy. “The love of country, love of standards and the love for the people of this country.”
“I’m proud to be his grandson,” Keymo Nedd expressed as he continued the eulogy from where Conventry Louisy left off. There’s sadness and an overwhelming sense of joy. Joy because I believe if anyone is going to heaven my grandpa is and that makes me happy.” Nedd’s remarks were followed by a huge Amen. He went on: “He has left us the blueprint whereby you, and you and you, can make Laborie the happiest, most beautiful village not in St Lucia, not only in the Caribbean but in the world. This man was a world class individual. Amazing humility, shocking generosity, loving kindness, a powerful, gentle spirit and unshakable integrity are all characteristics that shaped him; the man walked his talk. Let us, like Sir Allan stand up for what we believe in. That’s what integrity is. He taught me that to live is to change. To change is to grow and to grow is to care, to love one another. That’s what he lived for. Let us be up and doing St Lucia, still achieving, still pursuing. We’ve got what it takes to be truly great. May God bless everyone here and the entire island.”
The one constant in everyone’s memory seemed to be the humility of Sir Allan. Archbishop Robert Rivas expressed just that at the ceremony.
“He never lost the common touch,” the Archbishop said. “That is what distinguished him. One of the things you’d notice about Sir Allan is that he allowed God to shape his life. A Christian politician must be one who walks humbly with his or her people. It takes courage and a great passion for truth and honesty. The life of all of us influences the lives of those around us. If we are a people of faith, our faith must influence our choices and moral behaviour. Authority and power come from God. There is no genuine service without the cross of hardship and even disappointment. Service involves dying to self and embracing the welfare of good for others, which must come first.”