THE PASSING OF A GRENADIAN ICON.
“Lives of great men all remind us we can make our lives sublime,
And departing leave behind us footprints on the sands of time”
At the end of his sojourn on planet earth, Leslie Pierre departed on Sunday December 21, 2014 after “celebrating” his 86th birthday a month earlier. The footprints which he has left behind would be a daunting challenge to follow, for many coming after him.
During his lifetime Leslie’s reach into the public domain was long and legend, he was a man for all seasons, and as the poet Kipling would say-although he walked with Kings he never lost the common touch.
A list of his accomplishments at this time would be a tall order, but some of the outstanding ones must be mentioned.
The Editor of the Sentinel got to know Leslie in 1987, as Editor and Publisher of the Grenadian Voice Newspaper, whose office at that time, was located on Melville Street in St. George’s. The friendship grew over time and laid the foundation for his becoming a founding member and Director of the Willie Redhead Foundation in 1994, which was established in honour of Wilfred (Willie) – another great son of Grenada, after his death in 1993.
Leslie was recognized and honoured by the Foundation at its 5th Patrimonial Award Ceremony in November 2014 for his contribution in building the organization and providing a public forum through his newspaper for expressing the Foundation’s objective and highlight our achievements, which is dedicated to the “Preservation and Renewal of the National Heritage of Grenada.” His office was the venue of the Foundation’s monthly meeting for many years, when coffee and snacks were served – compliments the Grenadian Voice, until our membership had outgrown his office space.
At that time, Leslie had already made had mark on the Grenadian Society and was well known and respected, if not revered for his stand for “FREE SPEECH” (Freedom of the Press) for which he was incarcerated (imprisoned) by the People’s Revolutionary Government (PRG) in 1983. Leslie succeeded Wilfred Redhead, on his retirement, as Grenada’s Commissioner of Scouts; he was a co-founder of the Rotarac and Jacees clubs and a former director of Rotary International – Grenada.
Leslie was president of the Media Worker’s Association of Grenada (MWAG), was an independent delegate on the International Whaling Commission (Green Peace), and held a contrary, but principled position, to the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) delegates on the Commission – Grenada included, who supported Japan in killing whales, ostensibly for scientific research.
Under the auspices of the Willie Redhead Foundation, he organized and managed the Caribbean Archaeological Society conference held in Grenada in partnership with the Martiniquan Archaeological Society in 1999, bringing Archaeologists from all over the Caribbean to the last confluence of the 20th century; his greatest contribution to the Grenadians Society however, in the Sentinel’s view – was his indomitable pursuit of equality and justice for all, regardless of their circumstance, the lobbying for the freedom of the convicted 17, who imprisoned him – is a case in point. This he accomplished through the unrelenting pursuit in the PRINT MEDIA and his engaging personality.
The president, management and members of the Foundation join in sending condolences to his wife, Clytie- his family and close friends and may his legacy live on, (Heaven knowns we need it) – while his soul rest in everlasting peace.
Post Script – Leslie was awarded the (Grenada) knighthood post humously by the Government of Grenada on its 42nd Independence Anniversary celebration on February 7, 2016.