On Sir Cecil Cyrus
Dr Cecil Cyrus
April 14, 2023

On Sir Cecil Cyrus

by Dr Margaret-Ann Eustace

I was privileged to have met Sir Cecil at the age of twelve soon after his return to work in St Vincent. Privileged also to have been taken under his wing a few years later and introduced to the art of surgery and the guiding principles of medical practice in the weeks before I began my own medical training. This tutelage continued during my vacations when at home from university.

What has struck me most over the years was his unwavering commitment to his ideals, his indefatigability, his integrity and his devotion to family, medicine and his native land.

By no means a one-dimensional individual, he was knowledgeable about classical music which he clearly understood could contribute to health and wellbeing as attested by his ensuring that such music was always to be heard in his office and surgical theatres. His introduction of the game of squash to St Vincent is well known and he always found time for the sport with its physical and mental benefits. And then he nurtured his spirit as he nurtured the plants in his garden, a testament to his affinity with nature.

Indeed those who have visited his home must have been struck by its simplicity, the openness and inter- connectedness of its architecture together with a rather Zen-like sense of tranquillity. Not for him the ostentation and contrived effect so common today. The house sits comfortably and harmoniously within its environment.

On his appointment as consultant surgeon at the Colonial Hospital, as it was then, he immediately set about raising the standard of health care at that institution undaunted by the slings and arrows…and there were many…hurled by those of lesser stature and ability. For he was an exceptionally gifted surgeon with a deep understanding of humanity in all its variety. He was therefore able to inspire a cadre of senior nurses who responded admirably to the challenge.

Having won the esteem of his professors, the professional societies and colleagues across the region, he was well aware of his own self worth but without a trace of an over-inflated ego.

With an indomitable spirit and a belief in a benevolent deity he led a life of self-discipline, dedication and service always striving for excellence. He proceeded to publish a number of books with his trademark meticulous attention to detail. Books that are of inestimable value both to medical professionals and to anyone interested in the human condition, and which underpin his legacy to mankind. He was a most remarkable man.

May he rest in peace.