1.'On the Pastures of Belvedere' ‘On the Pastures of Belvedere’Amazon.com ISBN 978-1-4196-8145-5 is a biographical appreciation of the life and times of the Honorable Lawrence Clarisaint Didier (1889-1987), by his son Clayton Didier (1935-). Lawrence was born into a rural, subsistence-farming community, in the village of Delices, on the south-east coast of the Commonwealth of Dominica, then a far-flung, backward colony of the British Empire. He had a studious upbringing along with his life-long friend Simeon Benjamin, and was taught to be hard working, respectful, and a lover of the soil and animals, by God-fearing, industrious parents. This part of the island lacked modern communications and services, yet he and Simeon were lucky enough to attend Mico College, Jamaica, now a Centre of Excellence for teacher training. Back in Dominica, he set out assiduously to endow his charges with his art as a pedagogue, with strict discipline and the proper use of the English language as fundamentals. An appreciation of his educating skills, devotion to duty , and community service and leadership, are eulogized by H.L. Christian. See Wikipedia, Delices. Throughout his teaching at Delices Government School he indulged in farming, appreciably. His successes here were made possible by his intelligent use of free natural manures and the use of pack animals to provide the labor. He practiced conservation, even at that ‘early period’, and eschewed the popular ‘slash and burn’ of his co-farmers. He was thrice-married, and had a small army of six sons and a daughter with the second wife. Even as a Government employee he used the Press to urge the Authorities to alleviate the hardships and ills in the community, particularly health issues, overlooked by an indifferent British Colonial Administration. He was a staunch supporter of his church, the R.C. Church, and a leader and benefactor in his village; he made a significant contribution by providing free planting material in the early development of the island’s Banana Industry throughout the Eastern District. Always a family man, he enjoyed life to the hilt in spite of his arduous teaching and farming. He loved dancing, entertaining, particularly visiting colonial employees on their itinerant missions. The needless loss of his second wife in childbirth rocked him to the core, but he soldiered on for a quarter of a century bringing up his brood single-handedly, bending every fiber of his body to secure their education. On his retirement from teaching he migrated to the Capital. By this time Adult Suffrage had arrived at this corner of Empire and he essayed into politics. He was returned at the polls as Representative for the Eastern District. He served in all, a record four consecutive terms, continuing to serve ‘his people’, as he termed the folks on the eastern seaboard of the island, where he had earlier toiled as an educator. ‘Hansard’ records his exploits in the Lower Chamber of the Legislature. He championed the care of the poor and sick in society; the expansion of road infrastructure to his District; he defended the place of women in the work place and called for the provision of pre-school education, both these last matters a generation before they became ‘popular’; he sought land for the landless in a wholly agricultural economy. While in politics he continued his ‘endless love’ of farming at Giraudel on the slopes of Morne Anglais overlooking the capital, Roseau. On retirement from politics, this man of integrity and lover of toil, continued his message in the society, taking on all perceived ill practices and injustices therein, even some practices in the mighty R.C. Church, his church, in a lifetime of unrelenting service and leadership in his society. His legacy boasts in part, a very long line of able professionals as well as ordinary folk, who have ‘passed through his hands’, and who in turn have made their contribution to their fellowmen. His contribution to his country was publicly acknowledged. He died just three years short of his hundredth year. An indefatigable worker and visionary, a man of discipline, of selfless service to others, a family man, the Author’s gentle giant and hero.
2.Echoes & Memories(Revised Edition)
‘Echoes & Memories (Revised Edition)’ (2013) Amazon.com ISBN 978-1-62516-526-8 is a book of 31 poems by Clayton Didier, author of ‘On the Pastures of Belvedere’ (2008) ISBN 978-1-4196-8145-5. http://sbpra.com/ClaytonDidier/. These poems are inspired partly by the joys of retirement after a busy life, spent on two continents, in the field of civil engineering, and buttressed by the memories of his experiences which continue to echo in his head. While that mood continues, and is hopefully sustained by appreciative readers, he will continue to write. Many of the poems are set against an enchanting Caribbean background, especially the Commonwealth of Dominica, the “Nature Island” , where the author was born at rural Delices, in 1935. The poems have a common link, in that they are severally inspired by some particular experience, event, high or low point, in the poet’s life. They carry with them the sun, nature, peoples and places, the zing of the warm Caribbean. These verses are as varied as the many islands that populate his corner of our globe. The poet continues to write as he distils “the slings and arrows” of his long and thankful life, for the hopeful enjoyment of others.
3. Author's Bio.
Clayton Patrick Delices Didier was born in 1935 at Delices, a village on the south-east coast of the Commonwealth of Dominica, the “Nature Island”, in the Caribbean. His father, the Hon. L.C. Didier(1889-1987) was a Mico College, Jamaica-trained Educator, with some fame as an English purist and disciplinarian. (See ‘On the Pastures of Belvedère” by Clayton Didier: ISBN 978-1-4196-8145-5). Clayton was the fifth of seven children, six sons and a daughter at whose birth his mother died. He was four years old then. He was educated at Delices Government School, the Dominica Grammar School and at City University, London, U.K. He was appointed to the Civil Service in Dominica but in 1956 resigned in short shrift to be swept up in the post-war Great West Indian Migration to the United Kingdom. There, he worked and studied and became a Chartered Civil Engineer, Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, U.K. (1968), and Member of the Institution of Highways and Transportation, U.K. (1967); Fellow(1986). In 1964 he married Daphne Branch of Grenada. The union is blessed with two sons and a daughter. He returned to the Caribbean in 1969 at Barbados, and served as Deputy Director, Ministry of Transport and Works (1969-75), responsible for construction of all public works in the immediate post-independence period. In 1975 he joined the Caribbean Development Bank (1975-79), assisting with the supervision of bank-funded infrastructural development in several CARICOM countries. In 1979 he established his own firm of Consulting Engineers, the Islands Engineering Group Ltd., undertaking the design, construction and supervision of infrastructural works throughout CARICOM, especially in Barbados. He retired as CEO of the company in 2004. Throughout his working life he enjoyed golf, tennis, and long-distance running. During his retirement he has turned to writing and has published ‘On the Pastures of Belvedère’ (2008) ISBN 978-1-4196-8145-5, a biographical study of his father; ‘Echoes & Memories’ (2012) ISBN 9781469921747 a book of 24 poems; ‘Echoes & Memories(Revised Edition) (2013) ISBN 978-1-62516-526-8 containing 31 poems. Further writings include short stories and more poetry. His current work takes to task the shortcomings in colonial policy of Britain’s management of its former West Indian Colonies, especially as they relate to the matter of human development. He hopes to continue writing, and to enjoy life in the company of relatives, friends and inner family, which has been further blessed with a daughter-in-law, a grand-daughter and grand-son.