With world leaders gathering at the U.N. this week and Caribbean leaders meeting at SUNY to discuss a partnership with the University of the West Indies, Dr. Lamuel Stanislaus would have felt perfectly at home. But the distinguished diplomat and dentist died Sunday evening. He was 95.
The session at SUNY featuring comments by Carl McCall and Sir Hilary Beckles was attended by such notables as Carib News publisher Karl Rodney, reporter Tony Best and Don Rojas, senior adviser for communications to the vice chancellor at UWI. “Dr. Stanislaus was a remarkable man with a great sense of humor,” Rojas said, having known him from their long association with Grenada.
Born on the island of Grenada, Stanislaus came to the U.S. in 1945 and earned his Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Dental Surgery degrees at Howard University. He briefly practiced dentistry in upstate New York before moving to Brooklyn in 1956.
It wasn’t long before his dental practice was shared with his time in the diplomatic circles after he was appointed Grenada’s ambassador-at-large to the U.N. His eloquent voice and diplomatic skills were evident not only to his constituents but also to the U.N. body, where he served for a year as vice president of the U.N. General Assembly. And when the president of the body was absent for a month, Stanislaus presided as president.
When he wasn’t at the U.N. or behind the dental chair, Stanislaus was a community activist and civil leader. He is largely credited with the creation of the West Indian Day Carnival Parade that began in Harlem before it was moved to Brooklyn.
“He was a devoted member of his community in New York and in his native Grenada,” said City Councilmember Jumaane Williams in an email. “Although he represented Grenada on the international front, as Grenada’s permanent representative to the United Nations, he was best known for his work as a dentist and community advocate. Politicians and community leaders in New York turned to him for advice in social issues affecting the larger Caribbean community. Dr. Stanislaus supported his community
politically and financially, wielding his influence and connections to help others succeed. I myself sought his guidance during my inaugural run for City Council.”
Williams continued, “He was a role model for Grenadians and all people of more color, irrespective of where they come from. Generations of people will undoubtedly be inspired by his life and contributions to the West Indian community.”
Among his many honors was the Insignia of Commander of the British Empire from the Queen of England, Knight Commander, the highest honor awarded by his native Grenada; a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Brooklyn District Attorney; and a Distinguished Service Award from the Brooklyn Historical Society.
“Dr. Stanislaus was said to believe that awards and accolades were not really needed if a person has done right by their family and their country, and his family—Beryl, his wife of 63 years; children Lamuel, Galen, Karen, Eugene and John; and his seven grandchildren—was very important to him,” according to an article in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said, “For decades, Dr. Lamuel Stanislaus was a respected figure in Brooklyn’s Caribbean community. His advocacy on behalf of the Caribbean-American community was immeasurable, and his presence will be sorely missed in our borough by all Brooklynites who care about community development and public service.”
Grenada’s Prime Minister Keith Mitchell said, “[Dr. Stanislaus devoted] outstanding service to Grenada and the global community, has solidified his legacy, ensuring that he will go down in the annals of history as a distinguished and acclaimed Grenadian and Caribbean national.”
As we go to press, there is no notice of funeral or memorial services.