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A Tribute to Mr. Henry Williams

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by Dr. A Cecil Cyrus

I write this tribute in honour of, and with profound gratitude to Henry who was my geography teacher at the Grammar School. There it was that I discovered the great qualities of that gentle, kind person. He was always patient with the ignorance of his pupils, and, never once did we witness a frown on his usually serene countenance. {{more}}He seemed incapable of impatience and annoyance, despite the great number of opportunities there was for him to lose his calm. We never had the luxury of a shout or other outburst from him, and so, we were unafraid to approach him. A smile always lit up his face, and a soft chuckle was the only excess he allowed himself.

One of the lasting impressions of my sojourn at the Grammar School was the application shown by some of the masters in studying between classes for their external degrees. Henry was a prime example. We were all delighted when he completed his BA degree in geography. I am proud to boast that I was one of his pupils at the Grammar School, and did not let him down when I got Credit in his subject, geography, in the Cambridge School Certificate Examination in 1945, with a First Grade Certificate.

A devout Christian, Henry’s belief in ultimate justice allowed him to bear with quiet dignity the one or two wrongs committed against him. St. Vincent has lost one of its humble, unassuming giants. But, more painful is the loss of one of its very few saintly icons. He died leaving his indelible imprint on so many lives and aspects of life in his beloved homeland. And so, we are cheered by the fact that he will live in the hearts and minds of all those whose lives he enriched by his unstinting love and kindness. For true love is so precious and sustaining and enduring when it comes from the heart to the heart.

My entire family joins me in extending heartfelt sympathy to the bereaved family. May they continue to be enriched by Henry’s legacy of altruism and Christian fortitude and pride of nation.