St Kitts-born Cheryl Dore Samuel “touched every, single island’’

The 1979 Carnival Queen of St Kitts died in mid-September in Toronto

By Lincoln DePradine

Cheryl Dore Samuel and husband Simon Samuel Photo by Harold’s Photography

A cross-section of Caribbean nationals, residing in Toronto and other North American cities, gathered last Friday, September 30, at Ogden Funeral Home on Sheppard Avenue East to pay final respects to Cheryl Dore Samuel, who arrived in Canada after leaving St Kitts as a popular figure in the Caribbean country.

Samuel, who worked more than 35 years as a travel agent at Professional Travel in Ontario, was the 1979 Carnival Queen of St Kitts.

“She was a phenomenal queen; incredibly pleasant and thoughtful. May her memory live on forever,” the St. Kitts-Nevis National Carnival Committee said in a tribute to Samuel, who died September 13 in Toronto.

Samuel was 62. Her husband, Grenada-born Simon Samuel, expressed thanks for the “overwhelming support’’ he received on news of his wife’s death.

“I will miss you my lovely wife; my heart is heavy,’’ admitted Samuel, a former member of the Royal Grenada Police Force Band, and a founding-member of The Walnut Foundation – a registered non-profit support group whose aim is to enhance awareness “in the Black community about diseases affecting Black men’’, including prostate cancer.

“My wife,’’ added Samuel, “was a beautiful woman; very well-known and loved.’’

At Friday’s service for Samuel, she was remembered by family members and friends including cousin Mel Warner and son Darien Dore.

“I always remember the fond times,’’ said Dore, adding that his late mother, who brought a “magnetism’’ to everything, also “touched every, single island’’ in the Caribbean.

Warner, who spoke to Samuel a couple of days before her passing, said she “appeared fine’’, and called himself “lucky’’ to have had her as a friend and cousin.

“Cheryl was a very bright light in this community and back home,’’ Warner said in his eulogy, which was interspersed with snippets of music from famed St Kitts band Ellie Matt and the GIs Brass.

“She was my source of information on St Kitts,’’ said Warner, who credited Samuel for being caring, trustworthy and honest.

“She was true to the bone,’’ he said. “Cheryl made everyone smile.’’