Delivered by Johnson Dion on behalf of the Boxing Association of Grenada on Thursday, 18 March 2021, La Qua Brothers Funeral Home, Grenville, St Andrew.
Johnson Peter St Louis lived a virtuous life which endeared him to the many people that he encountered during his 59-year sojourn on earth.
He was an embodiment of humility, simplicity and generosity. Wherever Johnson went, he radiated joy in the company he kept by caring for everyone within his circle of influence even to his own discomfort and inconvenience. He was kind to a fault.
St Louis was a man of multiple positive layers with tremendous integrity.
To some people, Johnson was a former Fishery Officer in the Fishery Division under the Ministry of Agriculture. To others, Johnson was a landlord to many SGU medical students and the owner/manager of apartments in True Blue. And to a lot more, Johnson St Louis will be remembered for his volunteerism and dedication to the combat sport of boxing.
The truth is St Louis was all of the above and a lot more. This afternoon, on behalf of the Boxing Association of Grenada (BAG), I will make few remarks about Johnson in connecting with is services to boxing. Of the 59 years Johnson Peter St Louis spent on earth, he devoted over 40 years to boxing on the basis of volunteerism. St Louis’ involvement in the development of boxing dates back to the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Ray Roberts, the sports journalist, in his tribute to Johnson noted that he “served in just about every capacity. He officiated as judge, scorer and later a referee. In the last 25 years, Johnson functioned as a leading sport administrator in Grenada.” It is on record that he died as President of BAG.
Johnson’s passion for the combat sport of boxing was second to none. He was neck-deep into boxing affairs. Johnson did not only volunteer his time to the development of boxing, he also devoted his resources to it. Johnson assisted many boxers financially and on a continuous basis. There was at least one instance when the association could not afford to pay for the air tickets for a 17-member contingent to a tournament, and Johnson paid for one boxer. When it came to fundraising for boxing tournaments, Johnson was a trusted lieutenant. I tapped into Johnson’s circle of friends and business associates to raise funds. He excelled at fundraising initiatives and obtained commendable results to the admiration of many. There was a time that I printed 20 sponsorship letters soliciting support from the business community on behalf of BAG. Johnson did not only assist in distributing the entire letters, he went further to request that I should print more for him to distribute to the business community.
As the president of BAG, St Louis recorded many outstanding achievements, but one of his most cherished accomplishments and treasured memories was when Darrilla Thomas won the First Gold medal for Grenada as a Female Boxer at Caribbean Development Boxing Championship in St Lucia. Darrilla’s female opponent was from the Cayman Islands. Darrilla was awarded the 2017 Female Boxer of the Year.
Furthermore, as recent as January 2020, Johnson represented Grenada in Panama at the AIBA meeting. At that meeting, in order to save the Boxing Association of Grenada $103.50 in wire transfer charges, Johnson paid our membership dues to AIBA and also paid our AMBC membership dues from his resources. That will give you an inkling of how passionate Johnson was about boxing and how generous he was with his resources.
Johnson was a rare gem of divine creation. It is rare to find another human being with Johnson St Louis personality in one important aspect – and this is, he was incapable of being upset or angry. If he ever was, his countenance never portrayed it outwardly.
Johnson possessed a wholesome and harmonious personality. He was at peace with himself. But behind his peaceful and pacifist demeanour, belies his indomitable spirit. He was a fighter and fought until he took his last breath. Some people may ask why he was so passionate about boxing so much that he devoted more than 40 years of his life to the development of boxing. Boxing is a sport that teaches commitment, perseverance, endurance, determination, imagination and courage.
The discipline sport of boxing has always helped to lure some young boys and girls away from crime motivating activities for the benefit of society at large. Of all the sports in existence, boxing is the closest to being a metaphor for life itself. In boxing, as it is in real life, the fact that you may be knocked down does not mean you cannot get up from the canvas and win the fight before you. But if you remain on the canvas and dwell on the ill fate that befalls you, you will surely be counted out. Put differently, what happens to you in life is not as important as your next course of action. In boxing, as it is in real life situation, it is not so much how hard you can hit, but equally important is how hard you get hit and keeping fighting on.
These principles served Johnson well during his last four years on earth. On many occasions, he was hit hard by health challenges. And each occasion, his adversaries counted him out. But Johnson, with his indomitable spirit, proved them wrong by getting up from the hospital bed and kept fighting like the fighter that he truly was. My encounter with him during these years showed him as a very decent, amiable, honest and highly trustworthy human being. As we celebrate the life of Johnson St Louis, we are consoled by the many legacies he left behind. We are consoled by his selfless service to humanity.
We are also consoled by the many enduring and valuable lessons that he thought us by example – that we should care for one another, we should love for one another, we should be our brother’s keeper and that we should to be giving of ourselves and be generous with our resources.
Johnson Peter St Louis lived a sincere life and we will miss him sincerely. We pray that God should give his wife and members of his family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss. Thank you.
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