A 41-year-old Special Police Constable (SPC) who died while attempting to save the lives of at least four individuals during the Christmas Eve trough two weeks ago was laid to rest on Monday afternoon.
SPC 4 Calvin Stanley Louis was remembered by those who know him best as someone who lived a life of service to others, inspiring many along the way. For that, many who spoke of the fallen constable regarded him as a hero.
Hundreds of police officers from the various units of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force turned out to pay last respects to the man whose brother says he deserves a special medal for his recent act of bravery.
The casket bearing SPC Louis’s body was open to public viewing in the compound of the Marine Unit in Vieux Fort. Scores of family members were seen comforting each other as they did their best to stay strong.
Just after 1 pm, Special Services Unit (SSU) officers carried Louis’s casket to the Lazarus Funeral Parlour hearse. The 25-minute military parade led by the royal Saint Lucia Police Band then made its way to the Victory Pentecostal Church where hundreds of mourners and well-wishers had already gathered.
Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony, other government ministers, the Speaker of the House, and Opposition Leader Stephenson King were among those who joined Police Commissioner Vernon Francois, family members and others to bid farewell to the loving husband and father of three.
In the eulogy, SPC Louis was described as a family man who also found time to help out friends and strangers. Nothing was impossible for him to do as long as it redounded to bettering the lives of others, the audience was told. His widow, Gena Flavien-Louis, sat holding back tears as the words from the eulogy radiated the life her husband once lived.
During the sermonette, Pastor Timothy Eristhee urged the audience to emulate the superb qualities demonstrated by SPC Louis. Pastor Eristhee said Louis “died a good death”, adding that in a society where people take their lives as well as those of others recklessly, Louis made a difference by saving the lives of others.
Speaking to the media moments before the military parade began, Louis’s younger brother – Melchoir Louis – said he was the one responsible for introducing his late brother to the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force. Louis, who has 20 years experience in the Force, said Calvin joined the force in 1995. Calvin, he said, embodied the best qualities.
“Calvin was generally a warm, loving and open person. Very down-to-earth and simple. He always tried to avoid a conflict, and was committed to work. That’s just who he was,” Louis said.
Louis added that despite not having the requisite educational qualifications, his brother nevertheless proved that he was capable of efficiently undertaking the tasks he was assigned in the various departments where he served in the Force. He said Calvin taught himself a variety of technical skills along the way. For that, he says, the Force needs to create a level playing field when recruiting personnel.
“Since he was not able to achieve the (relevant) CXC subjects, he was not allowed the fair opportunity to become a regular police officer which he really wanted to be,” Louis said. “So I think this is something that the organization itself needs to look into.”
SPC Louis might not have had enough of the academics the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force was looking for in a police officer. But he certainly proved beyond a shadow of a doubt, that for an organization that’s charged with protecting and serving the people, SPC Louis died doing just that.
Following the church service, SPC Louis was laid to rest in the nearby cemetery in full view of hundreds who now classify him a hero.
SPC Louis was one of six people who lost their lives when a trough hit Saint Lucia on Christmas Eve.