Our Readers' Opinions
October 20, 2017
Reflecting on the life, work of Wendell Hercules

EDITOR: On October 27, 2017, St Vincent and the Grenadines will celebrate 38 years of independence. Congratulations !!

Many Vincentians in the diaspora leave their mark on the communities in which they find themselves buoyed by their roots in St Vincent. I reflect on the life and good works of the late Wendell Hercules.

On Sunday, October 1, 2017, the Wendell Hercules Running with the Angels 5K and 10K races took place at St Peter’s Episcopal Church in Rochester, New York.

It was an event filled with the love, warmth and spirit exemplified by Wendell. Wendell was born in Kingstown, St Vincent and was the second child of Charles and Caroline Hercules of Ratho Mill. His father, who was not only a preacher in the Methodist Church, but also a teacher and chief education officer in St Vincent, was awarded the Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to education. His mother was also a local preacher. His siblings are Baldwin, Vilna and Dalton.

   Wendell attended the Boys’ Grammar School and St Martin’s Boys Secondary School. He was known as a fast mid-distance runner. As a track athlete he ran in local and regional inter-school games, including Dominica in 1969, Guyana in 1970 and numerous trips to Grenada. In the Southern Games in Trinidad, which is a competition for the best track athletes in the Caribbean, he competed successfully in the 800 and mile run. His track success led him to receive a track scholarship in 1972 to the University of Idaho to study civil engineering.

His working career as a civil engineer was spent in Rochester, New York. He married Hazeldene Phills Hercules and the union produced three children, Michelle, Nicole and Colin.

  After many years worshipping at St Peter’s Episcopal Church in Henrietta, Rochester, Wendell and his wife, Hazeldene, came up with the idea of 5K and 10K races to help to raise funds for the church. When he passed on February 5, 2017, a decision was made to add his name to the event.

He never forgot the country where he was born and was nurtured in his youth. St Vincent and the Grenadines fostered a loving, caring individual.

 We are grateful to St Vincent and the Grenadines for producing Wendell and his goodness. Those in attendance at the Wendell Hercules Running with the Angels event included the Rector of St Peter’s, The Rev Catherine Tatum, the former rector, The Rev Sharon Karl, members of the congregation, family and friends, including two mayors, the Mayor of Rochester, Lovely Warren, and the Mayor of Brockport, Margay Blackman.

 Love and best wishes to St Vincent and the Grenadines as it celebrates its independence and may it continue to provide human beings who make this a better world. In the words of Wendell Hercules, keep on going “Forever Forward.”

Cheryl Phills King