A TRUBUTE to GEORGE LANCEFORD
David A. Joyette
I was introduced to George and spoke with him by phone several times before we actually met on Saturday, May 6th. 1967. He became my friend instantly and remained so for the last 39 years – so you could imagine there is much to say, but I will only share a little with you today, about what his life meant to me.
Though we all mourn his passing today, we are all winners for being graced by his thoughtfulness, his love, his kindness, his caring and the sharing of his life.
was the eldest of eight children of Miriam and Alexander Cooke. Being the first
child, he communicated with and learnt from his younger siblings. He treated
them with love and respect, while sharing and caring for the needs of the whole
family. After brief stints teaching and working with Inland Revenue in the town
He gave and never count the cost he toiled yet never seeks reward. George was caring and warm - hearted to all those he met in life’s travels, he never forgot his humble beginnings and cherished the toils and sacrifices his dear parents went through so that he could receive a better education. As he looked back over the pages of his history, he used to say, ‘so many people have helped me along the way’. Looking in his eyes one can see these words triggered great emotions, thoughts and an understanding far beyond any comprehension, but through it all he was firm in his will and disposition and demonstrated, these attributes by a simple look, a distant steer or a smile and sometimes with vehemence and the pointing of his middle finger.
George was a winner; he was the consummate teacher, for every thing he did had a reason, a purpose from which we must draw knowledge. That’s why to me he was a winner – and we are all winners for being blessed by his presence here on earth.
Let me talk a little about my concept of who is a winner. When the dream is big enough, the facts don’t matter. The facts have never stood in the way of a winner. Winners are dreamers who understand how to turn their dreams into reality and in doing so create a better, more beautiful world for everyone.
The facts may be real, they could represent strong opposition, and nevertheless, it doesn’t matter to a winner, for he holds in his heart a splendid image of his dreams.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we are not here to mourn the passing of George Richardson, we are here to celebrate a life that meant so much to us all. It is natural to die as it is to be born, but it is what we do with the life we were born to live. George lived a truly long and wonderful life, for it was in the service of others. He understood that true success in life is not measured by how much money or material things we accumulate; it is how much of ourselves we contribute to make this world a better place for all of mankind. My friends let me share this secret with you, we are not remembered for how long we live, but for how much good we do and contribute to make the lives of others and the world better.
From his youth he developed and
shared great wisdom, knowledge, and insights in providing opportunities for all
of us to reach further and do even better than he did. He inspired hope,
enthusiasm and provided direction for us to grow, develop and prosper and have
a better future. George taught me one life lesson, and that was how to
demonstrate love and commitment. He displayed that throughout his life and
through his devotion to his wife, Pat, and his commitment to his family,
friends, People of Caribbean decent, especially his place of birth,
He was one of many Canadians
of Caribbean decent who worked tirelessly to change the pension entitlement
Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, you see how George has influenced all of us by his presence here on earth. His great gifts call on us to be our better selves. He created a trail for us to follow.
In our many discussions he used to say, “I really don’t know why I am here, and what is my purpose, but I have done my best”. My question to you is, “how many of you could say you have done your best and truly - truly mean it?” Yet he lived his life with a purpose – he, had a purpose. And now I will share with you two (2) short poems that will illustrate his Life & Purpose.
David A. Joyette
O’ Life! What is Life?
It is not living, yet it lives with us;
It is the totality of all our thoughts, ideas and Experiences.
It is the love we share with those close to us;
‘t is the knowledge gained; the experiences obtained
as we traveled through this fleeting moment of time.
It is the wisdom that allows us to seek meanings into our deepest truths;
‘t is the understanding demonstrated as we listen, comprehend, counsel and console those who need our care.
It is the compassion we show to the less fortunate;
To those who have lost the trust and confidence in our society;
It is the sympathy we feel for those who are ill;
It is the sorrow we share with those who have lost a loved one or friend.
It is the tolerance to appreciate those about us, who do not speak the same language;
have the same cultural heritage; the same colour and religion;
those who do not share the same thoughts, ideals and experiences.
Therefore, my friends! Life is living for it lives with us;
It is all we think, do, feel and experience while passing through this universe;
It is a process to be enjoyed – enjoyed to the fullest.
It is our responsibility to direct these
Minds, along the right channels.
Ours is the great privilege of seeing
These minds flower and blossom forth.
Ours is the proud burden of developing the
Minds of all, so that they become
responsible citizens, of this universe.
Therefore, we are the molders of tomorrow’s world.