George James Lloyd “Lloydie” Lazar came into world in July of 1954 following three sisters and one brother who proceeded him. Their family of five offspring were joined by a younger brother who came later on the scene.
Lloyd Lazar attended the ‘Pasture’ School before going to the St. Kitts-Nevis Grammar School after he successfully completed the Common Entrance Examination. He later pursued graduate studies at McGill University in Montreal Canada in the field of Physical Education and Sports. Prior to attending Mc Gill, Lloyd had graduated from the University of the West Indies as a certified trained teacher. Lloyd was the first of his siblings to be afforded the privilege and opportunity of a university education.
Lloyd was christened and remained a staunch Methodist all his life, however it became unusual when he began having intermittent visits to the Seventh Day Adventist Church. These visits became noticeably more frequent as it had an impact on his attendance at the Saturday afternoon meetings of the Social and Educational Association (SEA) when it became clear that his presence and participation could not be expected until after sunset. His visits to the Seventh Day Adventist Church were co-mingled with visits to a particular village on the eastern side of the country. Her name was Eudora, from the Harvey lineage. She was a teacher, originally from Saddlers but lived in Waterworks, Cayon. Lloyd was able to penetrate her romantic defenses and the rest… is history. Lloyd and Eudora were married for 30 years and the union produced two children, Chermin and Chinua bringing his total offspring to three. Lloyd was the first to contribute to the list of grandchildren with his daughter Shiloh who was born in Montreal, Canada while he was a studying there.
George James Lloyd had a very glowing career in education as a teacher, sports as a coach and player and in the civil service, first as Director of Sports and later as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Youth, Sports and Culture.
During his youth, Lazar was active in multiple sports, including soccer, cricket, basketball and track. He made it to the revered list of athletes who represented nationally in more than one discipline – football and basketball being his areas. At the age of 16 he became a member of the Grammar School Football Team. He later went on to play for the Santos Football Team on leaving school and was a formidable defense player and captain of the victorious Santos Football Teams of his era. He was also captain of the National Basketball Team, and remained active on the court and on the field in both sporting disciplines (i.e. football and basketball) well into his fifties. In fact, Lloydie would seek out a game of friendly football where ever it was being played in the various communities as it became his exercise routine well into his later years. He always took advantage of any opportunity to share his experience on the occasion he played in Montreal as a player on the squad that guided the McGill University men’s soccer team to a national championship in 1982, an achievement which brought him much pride.
As a teacher of History at the then Basseterre Junior High School, Lloydie was part of that generation of teachers who was responsible for transforming the image of the school referred to then as “Vietnam”. He was also very instrumental in ensuring that the Junior High School participated in the TDC High School Championships, when he successfully argued with his former fellow members of the SEA (Freddie Knight and Seymour ‘Tally’ Davis) for the school to be included in the events despite the odds that were against the students there.
Lloyd’s teaching career also took him to the Basseterre High School where the students benefitted from his experience as a trained teacher, a graduate and a stickler for academia and supporter for “all things extracurricular”.
Outside of his career Lloyd Lazar rendered volunteer service par excellence in many areas. He joined the Social and Educational Association as a teenager through which he developed lifetime friendships and a host of leadership and human relation skills which served him throughout his life. He was a member of the Junior Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the JCI/Jaycees, the Boys Brigade Company where he served as Captain until his death. He was introduced to Beaver International, a community action and development group based in Canada that recruits qualified volunteers to travel to and work among isolated, poverty-stricken, homeless and native communities to, among other things, construct homes; a service he rendered over repeated summer vacations. He also served as an exemplary member of the NEMA District Volunteer Corps as the chair for District #1, going beyond his residence within the community and his capacity to serve. Lazar also served as chair of the Special Olympics in St. Kitts and Nevis and was the Caribbean representative to the Commonwealth Advisory Board on Sports.
Service to community, country and family was seen in areas of his life. He was not only seen but heard especially when commentating for sports events or during National Carnival street parades. We cannot forget his regular presence in our homes on a nightly basis via ZIZ news and sports which he did for over 10 years.
Lloydie was considered the “consummate professional, humble giant, loyal administrator” who was consistently thorough in the execution of his professional responsibilities. This non-descript boy from Pond Road, grew up into the “rising ‘son’ of the soil” words from his favourite song “The House of the Rising Sun” which he often bellowed out when in a reflective mood.
Throughout his life he remained dedicated to sports and to his family life and church. Thanks are due to him for the testimony of character he left us, the education to be drawn from his experiences, the knowledge and skills he transferred to the lives he touched, directly and indirectly, and the leadership he portrayed. He was the unsung diplomat who was not bestowed the formal title.
George James Lloyd Lazar died on August 12, 2020 at the age of 66.
Source: Alphonso Bridgewater