A tribute to my mentor

Good morning!  Our president Donna J. Jodhan has asked us to post this for her. 

Donna does not really like to show her emotions but we thought that in honour of someone who touched her life in so many ways, we would print her tribute to her mentor and friend, the late Maurice Connor.
Here now is her tribute.
The Sterling Creations team 

A tribute to my mentor, friend, and adviser.

How he touched my life.

The day I heard that you had passed on was the day that I lost a small piece of my heart and the moment I realized that you were no longer with us was the one when I discovered that one of the most important persons in my life was gone forever.


It has been said that as a general rule of thumb, there are at least five persons that one would meet during the course of their life that would have a lasting impact on them and for me the late Maurice Connor was one of these.  I first met MR. Conn as a child when I attended the School for the Blind and from then until now I was privileged and honoured to have known him.  As a student, he was always there for me; coaching, mentoring, encouraging, and sometimes pushing hard for me to keep on fighting the good fight.  As an adult, he continued to mentor me and was never tired of listening to me tell him all about my ventures and adventures.  He was one of the best listeners that I have ever known.


As a music teacher, he was tough but at the same time, gentle and encouraging.  Each time I returned to Trinidad from abroad, I made it my priority to call and visit him and sometimes he would visit my home and have a meal with my mom and me.  I loved his unique sense of humor, his ability to analyze quickly and offer words of wisdom, but most of all, I appreciated his closeness to God.  Our friendship was one that stretched across the seas; from Canada to Trinidad and way beyond.


I always looked forward to receiving his early morning emails.  He never complained about anything.  Instead, he wanted to know how I was doing and his words of encouragement were always welcomed.  MR. Conn had an insatiable appetite to learn.  Whenever he did not hear from me he would send an email inquiring about my well being and each time I came to Trinidad we would speak regularly on the phone.  The exchange of Christmas Day and New Years Day calls were traditions between us.  How much I treasured our chats, his rich laughter, and his quiet words of wisdom.


In 1972, MR. Conn was part of a very successful team that helped to ensure my success at the O level examinations.  He was so proud of this accomplishment and never tired of telling me how happy he was to have been part of the effort.  He would never know how very grateful I was to have had him as my coach and mentor then.


When I lost my vision five years ago, it was MR. Conn who helped me to cope.  He would often write me saying:  “Put your hand in the hand of the lord and walk with him.”  When I lost my brother Robert 2 years ago, it was MR. Conn again who helped me to cope.  He came to Robert’s funeral and He would never know how much I appreciated him being there.  He told me that it was God’s will that Robert was taken and that I had to trust in the good Lord.


This soft, gentle and peace loving man was unique.  His music will live on for many moons.  His dedication and commitment to the causes of blind Trinidadians will never be forgotten.  MR. Conn was one of the most selfless persons that I know.  He was extremely modest despite his many achievements and he never sought anything in return for his tireless efforts.


Rest in Peace MR. Conn.  Your Soul is free now and I am sure that on a very quiet night, I will be able to hear you playing your lilting music and I may be even lucky enough to hear you say “D.J!  How goes it?”  Now you will be able to see the bright yellow sun, the fragrant flowers, the swaying trees, and the rolling blue sea.  I will never forget you and I will always do my best to live up to your expectations.  I promise to keep on fighting the good fight.


Thank you for having allowed me to be part of your life and for having come into mine.

D.J (for this is what he always call ed me).



About Donna Jodhan

Donna Jodhan is an award winning blind author, advocate, sight loss coach, blogger, podcast commentator, and accessibility specialist.
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