Barbadians at home and in the Diaspora are mourning the sudden death of this country’s Consul General to Miami Colin Seifert Mayers.
Speaking to Barbados TODAY via telephone from her Miami office, a shocked Deputy Consul General Gaile Thompson said Mayers, who is in his 70s, passed away this morning after suffering an apparent heart attack.
Thompson, who said she was still trying to come to grips with his death, noted that her “boss” had not shown any signs of illness leading up to his passing.
“He was not ill. . . . This was a shock that hit me this morning. I saw him yesterday and we were looking forward since he had actually just become the dean of the diplomatic corps and today was going to be his first day where the corps has a luncheon and it was going to be his debut . . . [but] he just couldn’t make it to the debut,” an emotional Thompson said as she struggled to come to terms with the news of the passing of Mayers who first served as Consul General in Miami, Florida from May 1994 to December 1994.
While revealing that staff at the consulate was also in shock, Thompson said Mayers would be missed for always wanting to get the best out of everybody.
“I enjoyed working with Consul General Mayers. He was a person who expected us to do good. He was a very good boss. I thought he was very sympathetic. Basically, I thought the staff liked him. Yes, he did have a bit of a temper, but he was a good person to work with,” she recalled of Mayers, who was re-appointed Consul General in Miami on July 1, 2008 following the January 15 general elections of that same year.
“I think he had a very good relationship with the Diaspora. They seemed to like him and he always supported them. He was very, very strong on that. He always looked out for them. One thing I would say about him, he was very patriotic. . . . He would do anything for his country. And that is a good legacy,” she said, stressing that while there were people who said they were patriotic, the late senior diplomat showed it.
With the recently expanded coverage area of the consulate, Mayers’ jurisdiction included the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
His primary responsibilities included maintaining a relationship with and representing the interest of Barbadian nationals, seeking out economic and business opportunities, promoting co-operative ventures with private and public sector agencies and establishing and nurturing relationships that are beneficial to Barbados.
A former Lodge School student, Mayers was a trained pilot who worked for Carib West Airlines between 1971 and 1981 before he was appointed general manager of Caribbean Air Cargo’s North American Operations from 1981-1992. He then served as vice president of Caribbean Motor Works from 1995 to 1999 and as a marketing consultant before joining the consular service full time.
He leaves to mourn his wife Elicia and daughters Jeannine Mayers and Sonja Mayers-Darby. (EJ)