Eileen Paul has had a long and varied career spanning over fifty years.  She has been a teacher, employed in Commerce, at a Statutory Board and the St. Lucia Civil Service.  She later qualified as a Certified Teacher of Speedwriting Shorthand, and between 1984 and 1989 taught Secretarial Practice part time at the National Secretarial Institute, which turned out a cadre of secretaries who have moved on to higher positions in the commercial and corporate sectors and even their own businesses.

 But Eileen Paul is best known for her work in the field of Tourism and Hospitality.

She entered this field at a time when tourism was neither understood nor accepted by the general public nevertheless she worked tirelessly at the St. Lucia Hotel & Tourism Association to facilitate its acceptance contributing in no small part to the high profile which it enjoys today.

She recalls that in 1973 when she joined the Hotel Association (as it was known then) membership consisted of six hotels and seven restaurants.  The Association had no functioning office and her office accommodation consisted of a desk at the St. Lucia Tourist Bureau on Jeremie Street.

This temporary office arrangement continued until 1976 when Bernd Ludwig the then President decided that the Association should maintain its own identity and offered office space rent free in the Steigenberger Cariblue Hotel (now the Body Holiday at LeSport) where he was General Manager.  Two successive Presidents continued this trend which resulted in the Association’s offices moving to Cunard La Toc Hotel and Halcyon Beach Club then back to sharing office space within the St. Lucia Tourist Board in the newly built Duty Free Pointe Seraphine.  It was not until 1990 that the Association finally rented its own offices at the American Drywall Building.

She notes that Peter Bergasse then Chairman of the St. Lucia Tourist Board played a pivotal role in charting a new course for the industry and found willing partners in successive Presidents of the Hotel Association.  Membership increased and by 1988 the Association was forced to agree to a name change to reflect the diversity of its membership, thereby the St. Lucia Hotel & Tourism Association was born.

As the lone employee of the Association for 14 years, she worked tirelessly and gave yeoman service. In addition to her duties as Secretary of the Association she was also the Secretary to the Board of Directors.  She served as travelling Stenographer to the Eastern Caribbean Tourism Association (ECTA) from 1973 for 2 years and in 1977 was a founding member of the Caribbean Society of Hotel Association  Executives. (CSHAE)

Looking back she believes that a Job Description would not have adequately mapped out the various strategies and challenges that confronted the Association then, and on many occasions she had to forgo annual vacation because of these complexities.   She attended various overseas promotions, training programmes and leadership conferences and helped to introduce gala events as fund raising initiatives to supplement membership subscriptions in order to introduce new projects for the Association.  To this end she successfully completed a Professional Certificate Course in Event Management from the George Washington University.

Never one to pass up an opportunity to render public service, she has served on various committees including the Work Permit Committee, Action Aqua Committee  the National Hospitality & Service Awards Committee, Ste Lisi Par Excellence Committee, The St. Lucia Jazz Executive Committee, Carnival Development Committee, The St. Lucia Rural Development Committee.

She joined the St. Lucia Crisis Centre and at one time chaired the Education Committee  She was a founding member of the  National Secretaries Association and answered the call to be part of the National Volunteer Programme.

She is currently the Chairperson of the Fund Raising Committee of the Le Pavilon Royal Museum,  Treasurer of the St. Lucia Floral Cooperative Society, a member of the Events Advisory Committee of the SLHTA, and sits on the Advisory Committee of the Caribbean Institute of International Hospitality Management & Culinary Arts.  She also finds the time to attend rehearsals and sing with the Evergreen Singers.

She is gratified that today the St Lucia Hotel & Tourism Association with a membership of over 200 members has become the voice of the hospitality industry, particularly in the area of advocacy and in 2010 the Board of Directors unanimously agreed to name the Boardroom in her honour.

Eileen Paul has received Awards and Citations and been presented with the:

  • Professional Service Award                     1994             Professional Secretaries Association
  • Lifetime Achievement Award                  1997             Ministry of Tourism
  • Certificate of Appreciation                      2004            Mount Saint Vincent University
  • Dedicated Service Award                        2005            Saint Lucia Hotel & Tourism Association Inc
  • Member of the British Empire                  2007            Queen’s Birthday Honours
  • Honorary Member of the SLHTA              2010            Saint Lucia Hotel & Tourism Association Inc
  • Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal              2012             Office of the Governor General

 

Now retired, Eileen Paul has the time to enjoy family life and indulge her hobbies which includes voluntary work, event planning, reading, enjoying music, gardening, caring for domestic animals, singing.

The only daughter of five children of the late Albert & Annie Ellis,  Eileen is married to Desmond Paul and has a daughter Virginia.