Folk Research Centre Saddened By Passing Of Joyce Auguste

Press Release:– The Msgr. Patrick Anthony Folk Research Centre (FRC) is saddened by the passing of Ms. Joyce  Auguste eminent folklorist and one of the pioneers in the production and recording of Saint Lucia folk music.

Joyce’s relationship with the Folk Research Centre dated back to the 1970s when she teamed up with FRC founder Msgr. Patrick Anthony to present the music education programme for schools which was infused with key elements of Saint Lucian Kwéyòl and folk music.

She also teamed up with the FRC to produce the music repertoire of Sessenne Descartes.

In addition to her many music compilation she published “St. Lucia Sings” a book of Saint Lucian folk songs in 1984 “Oral and Folk Traditions of Saint Lucia in 1986.

In 1970 established and led the Hewanorra Voices, a local choral group which popularised local folk music, represented Saint Lucia overseas and by the early nineties, produced three long playing records, one of which featured ace saxophonist Luther Francois in a traditional mazouka.

She worked with many of the leading musicians and cultural figures such as Charles Cadet, Derek and Roddy Walcott, Msgr. Patrick Anthony on a wide range of theatrical productions.

Joyce is best known for her research and promotion of the music of Saint Lucian folklorists including Sessenne Descartes, Eric Adley and Florita Marquis.

The extensive documentation of local folk music was in her own words “part of her mission to put together collections of folk music for the future generations of Saint Lucians.”

During her many years as a music education specialist with the Government of Saint Lucia, she coordinated numerous research and training programmes on local culture and folklore.

She produced for many years Independence and National Day presentations involving schools and other cultural groups.

Joyce Auguste was a former national netballer who played on the West Indies netball team, an avid sportswoman and a major organiser of carnival during the eighties and nineties.

Embert Charles

Chair

Msgr Patrick Anthony Folk Research Centre

3 COMMENTS

  1. My condolences goes out to her family great lady indeed. Lovely songs I always remember those folks songs Rip Miss Joyce Auguste 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼

  2. All these accolades and the SLP locked the Cultural Center on her in 1997? My condolences. A real PATRIOT.

    • Joyce Auguste who started her career in the Public Service as a Teacher (the retirement age of which is 60) moved up the ranks of the Public Service to eventually become a Civil Servant serving in the Ministry of Education (the retirement age of which is 55). When Ms. Auguste attained the age of 55 years, like every other Civil Servant, she was expected to retire. The Public Service as it does for every Civil Servant who attains the age of 55 had prepared Ms. Auguste’s Gratuity and calculated her monthly Pension. However when the date for Ms. Auguste to retire approached, she did not want to leave, she insisted that she was a Teacher and so the retirement age for her was 60. She was insisting on that despite the fact that several years before her retirement she has transferred from the Teaching Service to the Civil Service. When Joyce Auguste refused to retire, the Ministry of Education was directed by the Ministry of the Public Service to get Joyce to leave her desk/office at the Ministry of Education to make way for the Public Officer who was to replace her. Eventually, the Ministry was forced to change the locks to the office Joyce occupied, as a last resort to get her to leave.

      Joyce told her own version of that story to everyone who would listen. She was even advised to sue the Government of St Lucia and of course she did. At the end of that Trial, Joyce August was ordered by the Courts to pay the Government of the St Lucia for damages (the costs the State had incurred to defend themselves against Joyce’s allegation).

      So you see, those vicious wicked people, who exploited Joyce Auguste’s vulnerabilities and weaknesses because her story suited their agenda should be ashamed of themselves for spreading falsehoods and tarnishing the name of an otherwise remarkable St Lucian woman, Ms. Joyce Auguste.

      Shame on you all

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