Today I join the Judicial Officers, Management and Staff of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) Headquarters family, the Registrars and particularly the accounting staff of the High Court Offices, the Ministers of Finance and Accountants General in the Court’s nine Member States and Territories, family and friends, in mourning the death of our beloved, Irvin Ferdinand.
It isn’t April when our thoughts turn to taxes, nor is it August when budget submissions are on our minds, but it was Sunday 18th October when our thoughts turned to grief, as we learnt of the passing of our dear colleague and friend Irvin.
A dear son of the soil, Irvin joined the ECSC family as our Accountant on 17th November, 2003. He was responsible for the fiscal management, reporting and maintenance of the Court’s finances at the Headquarters. In performing these tasks he worked hand in hand with officials in each of the Court’s nine Member States and Territories.
Irvin was a skilled accountant who, through his years of service to the Court, knew every influential public officer in the Ministries of Finance and Legal Affairs/Justice and the Attorneys General Chambers across the OECS. He would not hesitate to use that knowledge and experience to secure the necessary financial commitments for the Court from these governments to ensure the daily up-keep of its operations. They all admired and respected Mr. Ferdinand and responded well to him even under the most trying fiscal times, a testament of the affable, yet professional nature, of Irvin.
Irvin’s upbringing and the trajectory of his education formed the basis for his enduring professionalism and service to humanity. As a trained accountant, his pedigree in his chosen path has seen him work in various sectors with remarkable aplomb. His credible professionalism resonated in all spheres of operation at the ECSC whether as a consummate employee or as a mentor to members of his accounting team direct reports and others.
Irvin was often the life of our office celebrations. Whether it was Jounen Kweyol, a celebration that he truly enjoyed, Independence or Christmas, you could count Irvin in. Not only would he participate but he was also always suitably dressed for the occasion. We fondly remember him sparring with His Lordship, The Hon. Mr. Mario Michel, Justice of Appeal, as they gave jokes and told stories in creole at our office Jounen Kweyol celebrations.
From whichever angle one wishes to view Irvin, the narrative invariably underscores the quantum of the regenerative endowment with which he was imbued. From the Hills of Morne Fortune where he resided, through the doors of corporate, sporting, culture (and here I pause to recognize his stunning contribution as a judge at several calypso competitions at all levels) and government offices across Saint Lucia and the rest of the OECS, Irvin Ferdinand was held in high esteem indeed. His superb sense of humour was unmatched and his warm personality and collegiality was valued and respected by his ECSC colleagues. He will be immensely missed by us all.
Like a true West Indian and an avid cricket and tennis fan, Irvin had faith and he played a brave and difficult innings as he battled his illness; he did not give up. Like a maverick he dealt with the rigours of his treatment and the promise of short life without complaint. Theologian and Scholar Charleston Parker said that “In life, you have 3 choices. Give up, give in, or give it your all.” We can safely say that Irvin gave it his all and for that we are comforted.
Our departed colleague has obviously left indelible footprints in the sands of our lives, interwoven as they are in our individual and collective human experiences and endeavours. His colleagues at the ECSC, as do I, and all who had the pleasure of either working or interacting with him will treasure his memory.
On behalf of the Judiciary and Staff of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court and on my own behalf, I offer heartfelt condolences and gratitude to Irvin’s dear wife, Anne Sheran Ferdinand, his children, relatives and many friends. May he live on in our hearts and the hearts of all those who loved him and may his soul rest in peace.