South Florida’s Caribbean and diplomatic communities are in mourning.
The two-time Barbados consul general in Miami, Colin Mayers, died unexpectedly in Miami on Friday, his daughter Jeannine Mayers confirmed. He was 75.
“There was not a person that he met that had a need that he didn't try to meet. He would give you the shirt off his back. He loved his family, friends and Bajan community with his whole heart,” she said. “He had a charismatic personality and a smile that could light up a room. The void felt by his loss can only be filled by knowing how dearly he was loved and will be missed. He lived every day to the fullest and with no regrets. Heaven got another angel today and he is at home with the Lord.”
She added that her father was “a loving, generous, thoughtful and selfless man.”
Mayers’ death came on the day he was scheduled to attend a lunch welcoming him as the new dean of the international consular corps in Miami, succeeding Saint Lucia Consul General Kent Hippolyte.
One of the largest consular representations in the United States, the Miami corps includes diplomats and representatives of foreign governments. In his new role, Mayers would have been responsible for meeting with local leaders and representing the corps at various events.
Mayers first served as Barbados consul general for seven months in 1994. He returned in January 2008 following elections in the Caribbean nation. In addition to Florida, his jurisdiction included Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
“Colin has been a staunch advocate of all things Barbados,” the Carrie Lynn Grazette Cancer Foundation of Atlanta posted on Facebook. “He has encouraged and supported the mission of this foundation from its inception.”
Mayers’ advocacy and promotion of Barbados, its culture and authors extended beyond the Barbadian community.
“He was very supportive of the local Caribbean community,” said Miami attorney Marlon Hill, a Jamaican American.
Hill said Mayers, a pilot and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, died of a heart attack.
He had been making plans to attend the 44th annual Florida Caribbean Students Association Leadership Conference next week at Embry-Riddle.
After learning about Mayers’ death, Barbados author and long-time friend Enrico Downer wrote on Facebook Friday: “I have a heavy heart.”
Mayers, Downer later said, “was instrumental in promoting my books wherever there was a gathering of Barbadians since they are all related to Barbados.” Passionate about cricket, Mayers “was was an avid sportsman in Barbados in his earlier years,” Dowers added.
In addition to his daughter, Jeannine, Mayers is survived by his wife, Elicia, his daughter, Sonja Darby, and son-in-law, Keith, a grandson, Austin Darby, and a host of family and friends.