Would that we would all be as impactful in the time allotted to us.
Family members, friends, colleagues, well-wishers, ladies and gentlemen, good morning. Bonjour.
With protocol being established, let me say that it is an honor for me to be asked to say a few words on behalf of the Government and people of St. Martin Southside to honor the life, a dash well-lived, the legacy of Lin Raymond “Lino” Hughes.
For me Lino was, and will always be, a man of music, a proud St. Martin man, a creative in every sense of the word, a fearless pioneer willing to innovate with rhythms and beats impacting the sounds we all know, love and take for granted today, such as zouk, cadance, soca and many other mélanges of mainstream music that have been Caribbeanized/Africanized.
In rereading the interview with Lino published in our St. Martin Day (11-11-11) booklet of 2011 with fresh eyes, I was once again amazed – amazed at the fortitude of one man, who found kindred creative spirits throughout the Caribbean to create and innovate music.
With his bands – the Creole Stars, Lino and the Hardway, Bottle Neck Band – Lino collaborated with musicians on both North and South, learning from stalwarts like the late Mr. John Larmonie and Mr. Bobby Vlaun. He also followed up by teaching, mentoring and passing on to the next generation. Lino’s life, his dash, made an impact.
Music is a unifier and Lino created, out of his pride and love for St. Martin, a wonderful piece of history in song which will live on forever – “St. Martin is my home”.
Lino lived his life out loud, unapologetically, a bright star whose light can never be dimmed.
He was honored in life and knew his value and contribution. His legacy will indeed live on forever.
His life is an inspiration to me and anyone who knew him, heard his music, heard him speak, or read his interviews or heard about his life.
His life is a clear example that one man can make a difference, one man can cause a ripple that keeps growing.
One man, with a dream, with determination, and faith in himself and God, can realize whatever he sets his mind to, regardless of age, race or station in life, regardless of size of your country.
In his words filled with pride, love and joy to be an island boy, he wrote and he sang:
St. Martin is my home and I’ll do ’bout anything to make it bloom – we must all work to make it shine and prosper. …
I’ll think of it, dream of it in the morning, night and noon – what we think of, focus on, and work at, we can realize.
St. Martin is sweet home and to it I’ll give my life to keep on shining, like the sunshine that comes up in the morning – as the sun comes up each day, we can without fail commit to always serve her every day.
One island – One people – One Destiny!
Let’s make his words a reality in everything we do.
Let’s come together – work together as one!
Long live the legacy of Lino Hughes – He was a bright one! May we all strive to shine as bright.
Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs