Mr. Lionel L. M. Jean Jacques 1902-1993’A key to Success’

Lionel Luke Wilson Jean Jacques was born July 13th. 1902 in La Plaine, Dominica. He was the son of Wilson and Elizabeth Jean Jacques. He received his early education in Dominica at an Elementary School and then a Grammar School where he was introduced to Commercial Subjects comprising of Pitman Shorthand, Commercial English, Bookkeeping(Accounts), Office Practice, and typing. He learnt to speak Spanish fluently.

He came to Bermuda in 1929. As a black Accountant, he found it very difficult to secure a job using his skills. He was encouraged by Monsignor Commau of the Catholic Church to teach Commercial Subjects privately at his home. He worked as a Civilian Employee with the Royal Engineers at Dockyards during the war years and as a Supervisor who was responsible for the upkeep of many of the Government Buildings. Mr. Jacques married Elizabeth Taylor of St. Kitts in Bermuda. He lost his wife in 1969. When the war ended, he taught full time. He was the first person to teach Commercial Subjects to black people. Many of his students became successful on their journey. He also taught English as a secondary language to Portuguese immigrants.

His private Commercial School became affiliated with Pitman College Examination Centre in England. He was known at a number of Colleges in Canada and he was able to gain entrance for his students at these institutions. For a number of years, Mr. Jacques was quite active in the affairs of the Church. He served as a Lector and as a member of the Church Parish Council at St. Theresa’s Cathedral which he helped to build.

He became interested in the labour movement in Bermuda. He was one of the founding members of the Bermuda Industrial Union and worked along with Dr. E.F. Gordon. He received a B.I.U. service award in 1982.

He received many awards and certificates among them the Queen’s Certificate and Badge of Honour in 1980. On November 6th. 1982 he was honoured by his ex students at a testimonial Banquet. On May 20th 1988 he was given a Certificate for the twentieth Anniversary of the Universal Adult Suffrage. and in 1992 he received a Certificate of Achievement. Mr. Jacques was made a Fellow of the Bermuda College.

His hobbies were cricket, swimming and books he was an avid reader. Mr. Jacques died on April 18th 1993. He was a man that did not hesitate to share his knowledge with others at very little cost.

Submitted from Bermudian Heritage Museum remembering Bermuda’s Great Black Personalities

Joy Wilson-Tucker