A Tribute to Deon Lendore
by former Santa Rosa/Malabar Cluster Moderator - Fr. Steve Duncan
I first met Arima-born Deon Lendore at the Santa Rosa Parish office, on Wednesday, July 25th, 2018. He was visiting his family at Mt. Pleasant, Arima and decided that he would come to see me on a personal matter. I expressed my delight in meeting him as a national hero, by virtue of the international acclaim he has won for Trinidad and Tobago.
In the course of our interaction, I remembered reading and sharing with him on the words taken from 1 Corinthians 9: 24. I remembered his signature smile of delight, on hearing the words of Scripture, "Do you not realise that, though all the runners in the stadium take part in the race, only one of them gets the prize? Run like that: to win." This was my way of urging him on (against all odds) to continue doing his best to represent the red, white and black on the track.
During our time of counsel and prayer, he was very honest and open with me. He had a deep sense of patriotism which he carried with much humility. I was touched by his humility, genuine spirit, light-heartedness, commitment to country and faith. May Deon's example of sportsmanship both on and off the track, be remembered as part of his track record!
As I join Arima, the national and sporting communities in mourning Deon's tragic demise, verse 26 of 1 Corinthians chapter 9, is a consoling and sobering text: "Every athlete concentrates completely on training, and this is to win a wreath that will wither."
I pray that now that sprinter Deon has run the race, he may – through the mercy of God – receive the "wreath"; the prize of eternal rest and peace.