by Joel Providence
Garth Saunders was born into a very fine family steeped in Methodist values. I am glad that I got to know the entire Saunders family – the parents, John and Merle, as well as Wendell, Michele and of course, Garth.
Like their parents, the Saunders children have been known to be courteous, kind-hearted, and quite sociable. They were active participants in their community; in youth, church, school activities and related organisations.
Garth was a complete person. He was the genuine article – good at whatever he did and which he always undertook with a quiet, yet deep-seated conviction, if not passion.
I was a few forms above him at the Boys Grammar School. I knew he was a sound scholar who also did quite well as a champion field athlete and a cricketer who could hold his own.
Although our social circles overlapped, I came close to him when we both served on the National Sports Council. Together, we pushed for (and made) the Frank Thomas pavilion a reality. His contribution to the early transformation of Arnos Vale Playing Field was significant. His contribution at Board meetings was always required and many times pivotal.
I recognised that Garth had been keen on expanding his academic base of Engineering to include an MBA – we had both undertaken the same programme. A few years later, I threw a ‘Hail Mary’ ball to Garth in mid-1996, asking him to consider taking up a senior management position at Coreas, a company with which his father had worked more than 50 years earlier.
After due consideration, Garth confirmed his interest in making the switch to Coreas Trading. In the eight years that he made Coreas his home away from his home, he stamped an authority that helped generate accelerated profits and built a community of employees who found the place of work to be purpose-driven and more often than not, enjoyable.
We lost him to the CWSA in 2004, but I always maintained contact with him – a friendship that endured to the end. Most times our chats revolved around the plight of West Indies cricket, but he also made time to be engaged on the local issues of the day. Our last two chats had to do with water access at the Diamond athletic track and on possible improvements to WE FM’s ‘Issue at Hand’ Sunday morning programme.
A good friend has passed on but has carved out a legacy for others to emulate. SVG is the richer for his being here.
My sympathies go out to Simone, Shaun, Aaron, Wendell and Michele as well as to Paula and Winston.