The evidence is that Hunter J. Francois was revered. His contribution and exploits in Music, Law, Elocution and Education are legendary. In this reflection on his life, we pay specific attention to the unmatched and unheralded contribution that he made to the development of education in Saint Lucia.
Recently, there are many persons who have opined that Hunter J. Francois was a manwho was ahead of his time. The bow of a boat and the blade of an axe are leading edges that make it possible for the boat and axe to follow. Similarly, Hunter J. Francois was a leading edge. Hunter J. Francois was a visionary - unfortunately, a visionary’s bane is that he is neither appreciated nor understood by his peers. Far too often we fail to accept George Berkley’s philosophical advice that we ought not to reject an idea only because we are hearing of it for the first time.
An examination of the major educational developments in Saint Lucia within the last forty years will reveal that they all carry the genetic code of the venerable Hunter J. Francois. One such development was the Morne Education Complex which resulted from Hunter’s relentless effort to establish an educational institution on Morne Fortune. Given the need at the time, the complex was established to provide additional housing for a burgeoning capital city it was a testament to Hunter’s resilience and resourcefulness that eventually the Premier of the day, John Compton, supported the establishment of the Morne Education Complex. The Complex included the A’ Level College, The Morne Technical College and the Saint Lucia Teachers’ College. These were the institutions which served as the nucleus for the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College when it was established in 1985. The College’s library is named after Hunter J. Francois in honour of the pivotal role he played in establishing Morne Fortune as the premiere location for tertiary education in Saint Lucia.