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Tribute to Mr. George Eustace Gulston

Tribute to Mr. George Eustace Gulston

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Fri, Mar 30.

2012

Mr. George Eustace Gulston, Project Director and Representative of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines from 1984 to 1998, passed away on Saturday, February 25th, 2012, in his home country of Antigua and Barbuda.

The following tribute was prepared by Mr. Wendell Goodin, former OAS Representative to Barbados and a close friend of Mr. Gulston, on behalf of Mr. Gulston’s former colleagues.

It was read at Mr. Gulston’s funeral on Monday, March 12th, 2012, in St. John’s, Antigua.

REMEMBRANCE OF EUSTACE GULSTON

by Wendell Goodin

Former OAS Representative to Barbados

Eustace Gulston was a trusted colleague and friend, an individual with enormous ability, an encourager and family man who was endowed with a strong spiritual mooring and love for God. This in a nutshell was the essence of the man.

Our paths crossed when he joined the Organization of American States in 1984 having been posted in St. Vincent and the Grenadines as a Project Director of one of the OAS’ largest development projects in the Eastern Caribbean. His competence, knowledge, ability and skills combined with a commitment to hard work quickly gained the attention, respect and accolades of those he interfaced with.

His boss at OAS headquarters, who had the reputation for being extremely demanding of his employees, was heard to exclaim that Eustace was one of the best and most competent individuals he had ever employed. With such demonstrable and recognized ability it was not long before he was recruited for higher duty within the OAS, much to the dismay of his boss who tried unsuccessfully to retain his service.{{more}}

Eustace was destined to play a larger role within the organization having been promoted to the post of the OAS Representative to St Vincent and the Grenadines, which entailed both diplomatic and development cooperation responsibilities. Many of us learned to cultivate his friendship. He always had time for anyone with a problem and was a good sounding board whenever clarity was needed on issues, be it personal or work related.

Aside from Eustace’s technical proficiency, my admiration for him grew out of the manner in which he conducted his affairs. His was a life that was immersed in the Christian faith and this was translated, among other things, to a love and devotion to family that many could only wish to aspire to. I recall and observe his strict adherence to the Sabbath, the advice and encouragement he would proffer to me on spiritual matters including choice verses from the bible.

His generosity was demonstrated time and again when he invited me to be his guest on visits to Antigua or on my way to destinations through Antigua. It did not matter that he had to rise at 4 in the morning to ensure my catching the first flight leaving the country or the last one arriving. On other occasions I recall Eustace taking me for drives through the island carefully pointing out the sites of interest. When we were through I felt I knew Antigua as well as any resident. Oh yes, how could I forget the morning walks (his wife) Jean took me on to ensure I had my exercise.

During Eustace’s tenure with the OAS we all experienced periods of uncertainty and turmoil as the organization went through a series of restructuring. Needless to say this left a number of us disheartened. Not Eustace! He forged ahead in the certainty that God was in charge of the process and all would be well. He was subsequently vindicated in this belief as the reorganization exercise was completed without a change in the status quo of position or personnel within our respective offices.

When a subsequent attempt was made by the OAS hierarchy to eliminate the member state offices, Eustace was a prime mover among a small band of office directors, who advanced arguments for the retention of these offices. His advocacy on the strategic importance of these offices to the operations of the organization was compelling. The rationale advanced then holds true today hence the retention of these offices throughout the member states.

Notwithstanding Eustace personal challenge – he was a diabetic – he gave at all times his best to the service of the OAS and the country to which he was assigned. The accolades bestowed upon him by Saint Vincent and the Grenadines upon his resignation from the OAS are unsurpassed. Some fourteen years following his departure from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines he is still held in high esteem and remembered for the outstanding service he rendered to the people and country.

I will not forget that morning when he called to inform me that he had decided to demit office and return to his beloved country. My reaction was an immediate feeling of loss of a colleague and friend who stood with us in the “trenches” and who brought a measure of quiet strength, encouragement and right perspective to seemingly difficult situations at the workplace. No amount of cajoling from me could reverse his decision. Eustace was emphatic that the time had come for him to move on and give birth to those interests which were yet unexpressed. I recall his jokingly telling me that one should retire young enough so as to be able to lift one’s suitcase when going on vacations.

You see, Eustace had prepared himself for this moment as he had completed his retirement home perched on a hill overlooking a section of the city. Not to be left out was his workshop which was well equipped and where he spent considerable time working at his craft. I can recall the joy and pride that emanated from him as he took me through his workshop and showed me the numerous pieces of furniture he made for his house. If I am not mistaken his aptitude covered a range of construction skills.

Eustace’s life demonstrated all that was decent and honourable of a man. I know he will be terribly missed and the pain of his loss will persist for a long time. On behalf of my wife Angela and myself we extend to Jean, children Jomo and Renee and other relatives our sincere condolences on their great loss. May the memories you all shared while he moved among you comfort and sustain you. I have lost a true colleague and friend.

Condolences can be sent to his wife & family at the following address:

Ms. Jean Gulston

Crosbies

PO Box 1069

St. John’s

ANTIGUA & BARBUDA

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