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26698: Paul Dejean, a great Educator is gone (fwd)
Paul Dejean, brother of renown Haitian linguist Yves Dejean passed away on
the 21st. He was 74. From press releases in French during the week, Paul
funeralâs was to be held Saturday at Ste. Therese in Petionville. A memorial was
also scheduled in Montreal where he spent his life in exile. Can Corbetteers in
P-au-Prince and Canada confirm that? Though Paul suffered of Alzheimerâs for a
long time,I found the funeral services quite expeditious, given that he has
relatives , friends, and colleagues from all over the world who could have
traveled to Haiti for his furneral.
Paul was a concerned Haitian educator and Creolist who lived in Canada until
he returned from exile to Haiti in l986. He was among the advisors of Aristide
and one of his earlier supporters and mentors. Paul wrote many books among
them on Literacy, Bishop Romelus' life, Haitians in Quebec, on Haiti's
constitution. He was the first minister of Haitians living overseas and also under
secretary of Literacy when Aristide returned to Haiti.
I have known Yves his brother , a renown Haitian linguist since l980 when I
attended the Summer Creole Institute at Indiana University. I donât remember
when I first met Paul. Like Father Adrien or my other Haitian mentors, I have
spent a lot of time on the phone with him or have written to him for years. I
remember spending a fair amount of time with Paul in l992 when he came to
Boston. I took him to have a radio show about Creole, one of the rare times that
prominent educators have spoken in Haitian radios in Boston. The last time I saw
Paul was the summer of l996 at his office when he was the Secretary for
I read that they are planning a memorial for Paul in Miami also. Though as a
former Oblate, Paul studied in Boston (Natick), ironically there isnât an
educational environment in the Haitian church that one can call to organize a
memorial for this great humanist. Most of those who understand Paul's works and
legacy are not in the Haitian churches, that if they are in church at all.
If the educators and Creolists in Boston are interested in a memorial for
Paul Dejean, send me a private message, I will see what I can do. Those of us who
live in the States know a memorial doesnât have to happen immediately. Donât
feel in a rush to do any thing.
I know the church in New York has an educational environment that knows and
understands automatically who Paul Dejean was and will jump to the idea of a
memorial for a great Educator. I donât believe in putting up a show with people
who have no previous background knowledge, understanding or practice of the
Spirit of the work that is being commemorated, in this case Paulâs legacy.
Paul Dejean was among the mentors that I will always remember.
Polo had done the work and had fought the battle. May the Creator accept him
with all the Grace and Peace he deserves.