December 11, 2009
Tribute to the life of Cyprian Hypolite


CYPRIAN Z HYPOLITE – Born in St. Davids, Grenada, on August 11, 1925, Cyprian was the 5th son of Christiana and Julien Hypolite – a family of eight, 6 boys and 2 girls. Still alive today are his sister Mary Winsboro and brothers Francis in Trinidad and Urban in Grenada. He came to St. Vincent in 1942 to work as a Constable in the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force when he was 17 yrs old.

In 1949, he married Olive Robertson of Rose Hall, and the union produced 8 children – Joy, Frank, Tyrone Ian, Alinda, Julian, Bernard and Ronald. He also had 3 more children – Joan Keane, Pat Clouden and Garfield Isles. These 11 children produced 33 grand children and 12 great grandchildren.

After many years in the Police Service, Daddy resigned and joined the Life Insurance Industry where he started as an underwriter with British American Life. He moved on to Demerara Mutual where he retired as the General Manager.

Life was not always smooth sailing as my father was buffeted on many occasions. Although he received many knocks, Daddy was very resilient; he got back on his feet and bounced right back.{{more}}

He was a philanthropist and his life epitomizes a journey that transcends community development, social development and self help. He gave himself selflessly to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, to his church and to a very active involvement in politics. He loved St. Vincent and the Grenadines tremendously. His contribution to others was tireless as he believed that a healthy extended family was the strength of the gem of a nation.

His contribution to the political landscape was one based on discourse and not of a partisan nature, exemplified by being a die hard labour party member who allows a die hard NDP member to transmit radio via his property since the good and balance the station provided will supercede any individual or partisan gain.

Our dad was so full of life and vitality that he had 2 marriages. At the time of his passing, his wife Thelma shared a meaningful and rewarding life with him, yet he found time for involvement in the life of all his children and grandchildren while pursuing his own life.

About two years ago we sensed an ebb in strength, will and determination in our father – a feeling of being tired and ready for rest. He reminded us that he had been in the departure lounge for over 14 years now and was waiting on his Lord to call him home. The 14 years of preparation included buying his burial plot and fencing it around to ensure that no one encroached.

We remember:

  • A man who simply said YES to life and living
  • A father with great determination and drive that left his home country Grenada for foreign shores where he made a life and ultimately became a LIFER for St. Vincent and the Grenadines with his own 65 years of service for this country.
  • A man with a work horse attitude which he lived by and taught us. As determined as an eagle he became an excellent provider as evidenced by the home life he afforded us, our education, travel, willingness to participate and help. I read into his work ethic and living that we should not take our liberty for granted, we should guard it with jealousy, or it would be taken away from us whether we are asleep or awake. In other words, get up every day with a new determination to work hard, work long, succeed – then smile, relax and rest.
  • A strident, bold and fertile man who conquered so many treacherous life terrains to provide for family, friends, non friends and a foreign nation.
  • A man with an infectious, illuminating smile and charm; charisma and boundless passion for work, love, entertainment, travel – an accommodating spirit.
  • A man with the continued insistence that people’s daily struggles , miseries, fatigues, lack of opportunities are made just as important as your own goals in life – he championed that all his life.
  • A man who traversed many dirty, dusty dangerous broken streets fearlessly – clearing, cleaning, illuminating as he went along. These memories are stimulating and perpetuating.
  • The leadership role that he played demonstrating that life should be fully lived while improving constantly
  • The hopes and dreams of many people and their families that he helped to realize.
  • The many oases that he created in so many dying Edens.
  • A man for whom the tropics, with its blooming tropical gardens (the islands), floating in the blue box of the Caribbean sea, promising a paradise upon which he dared not turn his back.

I for one, my eyes sparkle at times with the freshness of thought and pride held of the many life lessons he handed down. Though misunderstood sometimes in my early life were eventual cornerstones of my own life.

Our last sibling Ronjah who is not here with us physically penned these words to our Dad

Dad, CZ, Sherriff.

To my Dad, Our Dad…. I left your care and counsel at a very tender age of 15 and entered into the care and counsel of the Almighty, the Universal Creator, so I was very young to Ivers much of thee fatherly discipline you were trying to instill on me – but it was not until I started having children that the realization came upon me, So, I give thanks for all the discipline, I give thanks for the life you afforded us and all the efforts to ensure we were educated so that we can be a family of thinkers not followers. Your path amongst us were not always in appearance good (we couldn’t see it) but I think just like ou matriarch O.H. our beloved mom, you our elder patriarch, your good intent for your family and your general love for people have proven your reward. Not because of prejudice I, your last son grant you this blessed memory, but because I truly think it is deserving of you.

One famous writer stated “Death is the end of all life in the individual or the thing. If physical, the crumbling of the body into dust from whence it came. He who lives not upright dies completely in the crumbling of the physical body, but he who live well, transforms himself from that which is mortal too immortality.” I am hoping that in your exiting you found peace within.

Now with the departure of the two elders in the clan, I am hoping that we find it in our being to continue the lives of our elders in the generation to come.

Love you Dad, CZ, Sherriff.

This is the challenge to our family that is left to us by our father. Life is much better lived together. We promise to continue his rich and enduring legacy.

We as people tend to gather when others die. .. All lives intersect. Here we are at our second intersection in the last four years, saying goodbye to the two most important people in our lives – mommy in July 05 and now, Daddy. These two who had great intentions for our family unit and never let selfishness eat away at such a well woven fabric.

Courage and collaboration scream out today.

It is OK to be afraid and appear weak, be a bit vulnerable at times, but we cannot be silent about the things that matter. So, Dad, we all thank you very much.

A life unmistakenly remarkable.

A journey beyond the realm of ordinary expectations, traverse a cosmic stage of community belovedness and self help and accountability. CZ, we love you dearly and join the wailing of Isis and Osirius as they welcome you on your final journey. Shalom!!!

You are my day break, my midday inspiration, my twilight meditation and my daily bread. We will miss you wisdom. May you enjoy infinite peace.

Fly well. We love you.