January 2024 Volume 20

My memories of Dr. Winston George Mendes Davidson

Dr. Cedric Lazarus
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I first met Winty when I joined the executive of the KCOBA in the early 1990s. At the time he was president with Stratton Palmer as his first vice president. A few years later, in the mid-1990s, I became secretary and one of my responsibilities was to ensure that executive board members turned up for the monthly meetings which were held at Winty’s home in Mona. I would routinely call all the members, including Winty, a few days before to remind them of the meeting. My conversations with Winty would be something like this:

“Hi, Winty, please remember that we have an executive meeting at your home on Wednesday, starting at 7 pm.”

Winty: “Lazarus, (he was the only person who always referred to me as Lazarus) there is no need to call me; as usual, the meeting room will be prepared and even if I am not there at 7 pm my wife Sonya, or someone else, will be there to let you guys in. Why are you worried? In addition, one of the vice presidents, or even the secretary, can start the meeting; you are the secretary, are you not?”

Undaunted, I still called him before all our meetings and every month that was his response. It eventually dawned on me that by then Winty had already been president of the KCOBA for nearly 10 years, hence his relative impatience with my monthly meeting reminders. (Back in those days many KC old boys would refer to him, both to his face and behind his back, as president for life!)

In those years monthly executive meetings would usually start at 7 pm and end after 9 pm, after which most of us would retire to Winty’s well-stocked bar. At the end of the bar session, those of us who remained would exit the house and have another meeting in front of Winty’s gate, and of course, Winty would be there. Now, some very important issues and often non-KC matters were discussed at the gate. It was at the gate, for instance, that Winty told us that for reasons genealogical he had converted to Judaism. Likewise, it was at the gate that he revealed that he had eventually joined the Lodge. He gave flawless answers to our many questions on these issues which made us believe that he had anticipated all possible questions.

When Winty turned 50, I distinctly remember him telling us at the end of a meeting and rather nonchalantly, that on the following Saturday, he would be hosting a small get-together (his words) at his home to celebrate the occasion and that we were invited. I lived relatively close to Winty so on the Saturday afternoon I donned a pair of shorts and a T-shirt and walked up to Winty’s house. When I arrived at the top of the road I was shocked to see about 100 cars parked on both sides to Winty’s house and beyond. On entering the gate I was even more shocked to see that on his lawn there was a giant tent under which sat a plethora of dignitaries, including cabinet ministers and the Prime Minister! The four or five of us from the KCOBA executives who were there sat meekly by the bar on the far side of the tent because we were not, in our opinion, appropriately attired – recall that Winty had told us that he would be hosting a small get-together!When we asked him about it at the following meeting he swore that it was indeed a small get-together and nothing more!

I will forever remember Winty for his hospitality, his wit and analytical mind, and his passion and unwavering love for all things Fortis! We have lost a purple giant. Rest in Peace, Winty!

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