The guest speaker at the Kiwanis Club of Clermont on August 1, 2017 was Arnold Telemaque. He was accompanied by his wife Olivet Telemaque and daughter Hannah Nelson (pictured). Arnold informed us that he was born and raised on the island of Dominica.
Arnold Telemaque told the Kiwanis members that during the 1940’s and 1950’s he was taught Latin and French in the schools along with other courses. Both of his parents were musically inclined and he learned to play the Concertina and the Ukulele. He worked in the Fire Services for 29 years. During that time, he received training in Trinidad and Great Britain and in turn, trained the Fire officers in Wesley Village in Dominica.
Arnold was greatly influenced by the Methodist Church, which he said made many contributions to Dominica in the manner of education, religion and over-all living conditions. He became a local clergyman with the Methodist Church, and has held many positions in the community. He was the Chairman of the village Council, Justice of The Peace, PTA President of both Primary and Secondary Schools and a member of the Board of Management for one of the schools of the church. He added that his mother was an Assistant Principal in the schools and his father was a farmer.
He said he visited the United States for the first time in 1982 and visited his brother who is an ordained minister in Connecticut. Arnold Telemaque currently resides in Clermont, FL. and has written a book of 25 musical pieces, entitled “Witness in Song.” Some of these songs have been incorporated in the Methodist Church’s Hymn book. During the meeting, he sang three of the songs while accompanying himself on the Keyboard to the enjoyment of the club members.
At the conclusion of his presentation, President Janet Hoskinson thanked Arnold Telemaque, his wife Olivet and daughter Hannah Nelson for his lovely musical renditions and rewarded him with a commemorative club pin.
The Commonwealth of Dominica is a sovereign island country located between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean and is about one-half of the way from Puerto Rico to Trinidad and Tobago. It is the most mountainous island of the Lesser Antilles. It is called “The Nature Island of the Caribbean” due to its varied plants and wildlife and its volcanic mountain peaks that are cones of lava craters. Dominica is a mountainous Caribbean island nation with natural hot springs and tropical rainforests. This includes Boiling Lake, the second-largest thermally active lake in the world. Dominica should not be confused with the Caribbean nation of the Dominican Republic. While English is spoken by all, the predominant language spoken by the locals among themselves is Dominican French Creole. Dominica was the last of the Caribbean islands to be colonized by Europeans, due chiefly to the fierce resistance of the native Caribs. France relinquished possession to Great Britain in 1763. England made the island a colony in 1805. Subsequently, Dominica received its independence from England in 1978.