Who Am I? Yes, that's me! All bald and turning beautifully grey. The years have taken their toll, but they have not dampened my spirits. I don't like talking about myself, but some web site visitors insist they want to know me better. They pamper me with such kind words about my site that the least I can do is to quietly swallow my pride and present myself for all to see.
So, have we met before? I truly appreciate your support and trust this exposure will please you immensely.
My Mama & Papa I was born Raglan Eugene Riviere, fourth in the family, in the village of Massacre in September 1935, in the then British Colony of Dominica, now the independent Commonwealth of Dominica - not to be confused with the Dominican Republic. During my school years I lived in Colihaut, Portsmouth, Roseau, Goodwill and Canefield. My father, like most head teachers then, made the rounds of the village schools till he finally retired as an Education Officer. Mama's roots are from Anguila. A teacher and housewife, known affably as 'mam' in the community. She raised five boys and one girl to the best of her ability but always with tender loving care. May her soul rest in peace.
Papa was partly of French stock, hence my surname. His father came from French Guyana. He was a teacher all his life, stern with the rod, but unsurpassed in professional results. He left a legacy of success to which hundreds continue to testify.
My Illustrious Brothers & Sister
Here are Mama and Papa's children: Arlington, first born, a career civil servant and graduate in Public Administration, was Dominica's Ambassador Extraordinary to the United States and Officer of the Organization of American States (O.A.S.). Now retired. Osborne, B.A. (Econ.), M.A. (Int. Trade.), Dip. (Int. Rel.), second born, recently Minister of Trade and Foreign Affairs, was also a career civil servant who represented Dominica in several overseas positions, including the Caribbean Common Market (CARICOM). Doreen, (Mama's only daughter), third born, a graduate in Social Work, is the Director of Save The Children Fund in Dominica. Raglan, B.Sc. (Soc.), M.H.A. (Health Administration), fourth born. That's me. Mervyn, M.D., F.R.C.S., L.L.B., fifth born, presently retired and lecturing part-time at Ross University, Dominica Campus. William, B.A., Ph.D., L.L.B., last born, is an historian, a career lecturer in Caribbean History; presently writing and practising Law in Dominica.
Elementary: As stated above, I followed my father to all village schools beginning at Massacre and ending at Portsmouth where I won a common entrance scholarship to secondary school. Secondary: I attended the Dominica Grammar School from 1948 to 1955 obtaining the Senior Cambridge School Certificate which gave me the qualification to be employed in the Civil Service. University: In 1959 I emigrated to England to join the Royal Air Force where I served for five years. During that period I obtained further university entrance qualifications in Economics and British Constitution. After discharge from the R.A.F. I attended evening classes at the Regent Street Polytechnic, London, obtaining an honours degree in Sociology, (B.Sc.) from London University. I returned to Dominica in 1969 and in 1972 was granted a World Health Fellowship to study and obtain a masters degree in Health Administration, (M.H.A.), from the University of Ottawa, Canada. View my page on Dominican Diaspora
My Work Experiences
At thirteen years old, while attending the Grammar School, I began working on Saturdays at the firm of J. Astaphan & Co, then on Old Street as an Assistant Sales Clerk. I joined the firm when I graduated until I was appointed Clerical Officer with the Civil Service. There I served at the Registry, Post Office and Treasury before emigrating to England. In the British R.A.F. I became a Senior Aircraftsman serving at the Central Medical Establishment in London and at Royal Air Force Pergamos in Cyprus. Upon discharge, I joined the Ministry of Housing and Local Government as a Statistical Officer and later Research Officer. When I graduated in Sociology, I returned to Dominica to join the Civil Service as an Administrative Cadet to be promoted later to Assistant Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs. In 1970 I was promoted to Hospital Administrator designate of the Princess Margaret Hospital which became substantive after qualification. In 1978 my family and I emigrated to Canada where I joined the Ministry of Correctional Services as a Correctional Officer spending the last twelve years of service at the Ontario Correctional Institute. Since my early retirement in June, 1998, I am endeavouring to establish myself as a Writer.
My Hobbies & Interests
I am consumed by three major pre-occupations:
Creative Writing:This has been my long time passion which I began in earnest when my wife presented me with a type writer as a birthday present many years ago. I decided to learn to type from Pitman's lessons by writing a story. This story eventually became my first published novel, Rumpunch and Prejudice. Since then, I have completed Born Too Late and His Honour The Administrator - Book One. Instructional Booklets: My creative mind has always sought solutions to problems related to interpersonal relations, no doubt why I studied Sociology. The result, so far, is the preparation of two instructional booklets, How To Measure Your Love and How To Interpret Your Dreams. Don't log off before perusing them at My Writing Studio. The Internet: The creation and maintenance of this web site is testimony enough of the depth of my interest in the Internet. All this grew out of my curiosity with the concept of the Information Highway. My ultimate goal is to set up a manageable internet business to earn extra income.
My Family Support Group
Loving Wife Denise, B.A. (Pol Sci). Grenadian by birth, née McIntosh, is the perfect personification of loving, caring and reliability. She has been the rock on which our family stands from its beginning in 1962. In good and in bad times she has placed her unwavering faith in God from whom her strength derives. We are very blessed, indeed! Spirit-filled Daughter Jacqueline Pearson (née Riviere), B.A. (Psy). Our only daughter and first born, is a devoted Christian who has dedicated her life to Jesus in a singing ministry. She also holds a post graduate Diploma in Human Resources Management. Visit her at Lion Sword Solutions. Muscular Son Emile, our only son, is a physical fitness enthusiast. He hopes to write that best-selling, instructional book on holistic, physical well-being that the world is waiting for! Demure, standing 6'2", he is very sensitive to the needs of others, and takes life in his stride, unshaken by the cynicism around him.
Historical Roots of the RIVIERES By Dr. Lennox Honychurch
A Dominican family whose history spans the entire colonial-to-independence period and which is made up of several branches that reflect the diversity and changing fortunes of the island and the rise and fall of different social, economic and ethnic groups over time.
The name originates with a "petit blanc" French settler Nicholas Riviere who occupied 10 acres of land in the parish of St. Peter from the early days of French settlement, which after 1764 he held on lease from the British Crown. One branch of his descendants grew in prominence within the plantation economy and "Riviere and brothers" are registered holding Davis Estate in the parish of St.Joseph in 1869.
By the turn of the century they also own ed Clarke Hall Estate in the Layou Valley, which in 1924 is listed as comprising 817 acres and owned by D.O.Riviere, who for a time was also a member of the nominated Legislative Council. They owned other properties in Roseau.
Another branch of the family had land behind Mahaut. One group of Rivieres, particularly Donald, squandered the family fortune on a lavish lifestyle. As the economic downturn of the 1920s set in, the family became destitute and D.O. Riviere committed suicide. Three of his sisters married into prominent families of the day: the Perrymans, Degazons and Seignorets. Sons of the latter two became two early Presidents of an independent Dominica: Fred Degazon and Sir Clarence Seignoret.
As the majority of the Rivieres of the old order were in decline, other Rivieres, among them smallholders and artisans were on the rise, led by the distinguished schoolteacher Leonce Alexander Riviere who had won a scholarship to Codrington College in Barbados. He served as principal of several schools around the island. Under his tutelage his offspring: Arlington, Osborne, Raglan, Doreen, William, Mervin, Newton, Marjorie, Kingston and Victor each contribute to Dominica in various fields as ministers of government, medical doctors, lawyers, historians, public administrators and social workers among other occupations."