The passing of Yves Renard, renowned conservationist and Laborian, has plunged the entire community of Laborie into mourning. Having migrated to Saint Lucia in 1979, Yves was immediately attracted to life in our community and made this uniquely vibrant corner of Saint Lucia his home and the place where he and late wife Rosamunde would raise their family.
For over 40 years Yves dedicated his energies to the environmental, social, and economic development of our community. While his exploits and his engaging approach to conservation and sustainable development took him far beyond Laborie and Saint Lucia’s shores, he dedicated time and effort to addressing our local development challenges. His legacy of service to the community can be seen in organisations such as Labowi Promotions, the Laborie Development Foundation and the Laborie Steel Pan; and in events like Jazz in the South.
As the Laborie community slowly recovers from the emotional toll brought about by the news of his passing, we have begun discussing with the family how to pay a fitting tribute to one who served our community selflessly. As one, the family, the community and the Laborie Development Foundation are coordinating a series of activities to mark his untimely demise and to pay a community and national tribute to an outstanding personality to whom we owe so much. Participatory planning, one of Yves’ mantras, was alive as members of the family joined virtually with representatives of the community and the many organisations that had the distinct pleasure of working with Yves during his life and work in Laborie for discussions on how best to celebrate his life.
For whom the bells toll, they toll for Yves. The Renard family have informed that his body was cremated in a quiet ceremony on Friday, January 27 in Greece, and the ashes will later be brought to Laborie. As a mark of respect and appreciation, the bells at the Laborie Catholic Church tolled at 8:00 am to mark this ceremony. Laborians were invited to join in a candlelight vigil at Ti Tou Beach below the Renard residence at Calvary Hill, Laborie to pay their respects to our departed comrade as this ceremony takes place.
This first activity will be followed by a series of community activities over the next 10 weeks. They include: An Swawé épi Yves (A Night with Yves) at the Laborie Village Square on Sunday, February 19 during which community-based organisations, schools, individuals and close friends and acquaintances will get an opportunity to pay tribute to Yves in word, song, and other forms of artistic expression.
Another community activity called Ékléwé is scheduled for Saturday, March 12 at the Desmond Collymore Park. Yves was a trail blazer who lit many a path for others to follow and emulate in many aspects of Laborie’s socio-cultural evolution. This activity will be a local musical event featuring Caribbean Grains Laborie Steel Pan, and where jazz music will be at the centre of this gathering.
Yves the Sports Personality will feature on Sunday, April 2 when Veteran footballers from Laborie will honour Yves’ memory by participating in an afternoon of football friendlies at Desmond Collymore Park.
Yves was a personality of local, national, regional and international stature, and the family and the Laborie Community agree that a Grand Celebration of his Life and Work will be staged in Laborie on Sunday, April 16, 2023. This event will be open to willing participants from Yves’ national, regional and international networks. By unanimous acclaim, Yves Renard will be inducted into the Hall of Iconic Laborians on a date to be announced.
These and other activities will be presented in greater detail as plans are finalised in the coming days and weeks. In the meantime, Condolence Books will be available for signing at the following venues in Laborie Village: The Laborie Cooperative Credit Union, The Velon John Administrative Building; and the Papèl – The Craft Centre @ Rudy John Beach Park.
Laborie Development Foundation
26 January 2023
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