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Commentary: Farewell to a friend
Published on November 19, 2012 Email To Friend    Print Version

By David Tapfer

I cannot have my friend Dottis Arthur leave the community of Middle Caicos and the Turks and Caicos Islands without offering comments on this special woman.

I will not belabour readers with what you have heard so many times before and which are bound to be repeated many times in the future. Our families here in Conch Bar were close. They helped me build our home here. Her step mom was my mother in law. I remember her dad in his declining years and the meeting we had with Dottis after he passed away.

David Tapfer is a retired, US-born engineer and management executive. He is the former chairman of the Middle Caicos Branch of the Peoples Democratic Movement
We were of course stunned when she fell ill. We prayed for her recovery but it was not to be, God had other plans. It seems God makes his presence known at critical moments. One year after the poorly constructed causeway freed Middle Caicos of the drudgery of the ferry service, he sent Hanna to show how poorly it was constructed.

I believe God took our friend because he wanted her near to him and in this case he was not patient. I lost my special 11-year-old son for similar reasons many years ago.

Dottis Higgs Arthur was the reason someone once said, “If you want something done ask the busy person.” Honesty, integrity and the courage to make decisions within her range of authority were her career attributes. She was a pillar of Mount Moriah Church. Her passing along with Ma Charities will leave a void in this community of Christians.

Last year, on returning from several months in the USA to take care of medical and retirement issues, I met with Dottis and we exchanged thoughts on current events. When I began to use my time to return to my musical pursuits and adapt it to the needs of the local children three years ago, we ran it by Dottis.

I found it curious that, when the deputy governor and premier spoke at her funeral service, they said her service in Salt Cay was where they began their appreciation of Dottis. This was after she was “shipped out” but nevertheless was soon appreciated. It was only Dottis who had the qualifications to be brought back from retirement to get things in Middle and North Caicos back in order.

When she returned, she reinstalled the ceremony of the lighting of the Christmas tree, which had been replaced previously by the parties laced with alcohol.

The community of Middle Caicos is shutting down after years of misrepresentation, which was offset at least during the Taylor years to a large part by Mrs Arthur. In ignoring Middle Caicos, both the previous and interim administration have ignored our needs and this the most central, beautiful and largest island -- the mother island -- will again remain on the waiting list.

The tough thing to face is we will not have Dottis to hold our hands and bolster our spirits. Perhaps the idea of sainthood is unacceptable but I for one would be willing to apply on her behalf. Fact is, if I ever reach the Pearly Gates, I expect to have Dottis speak on my behalf.
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