National park venue for funeral of cherished employee

Eloise Francis, who died on January 12, was a popular face at Seafood Friday events, among others (Facebook photo)
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One of Nelson’s Dockyard’s most beloved personalities will be laid to rest this morning.

Eloise Francis – who devoted four decades to tourism – had held the position as manager of the Copper and Lumber Store Hotel, as well as the UNESCO World Heritage Site’s marketing and events manager, for many years.

She died on January 12 at the age of 60.

A funeral service and celebration of her life will take place – fittingly – at historic Dow’s Hill at 10am Tuesday.

Andy Liburd, who worked with Francis at the National Parks Authority for more than a decade, told Observer, “We found it symbolic and appropriate that, because of the amount of time and sacrifice she had given to the national park itself, and areas around the park that she so loved and was passionate about, that it was apt – in consultation with the family of course – to have the ceremony up at the Dow’s Hill Interpretation Centre where she spent quite a lot of time and a lot of her energy.

“She had many moments there, not only with persons who visited Antigua and Barbuda, but with the family of staff at the national parks too.”

Liburd added that all Covid-19 safety protocols would be in place.

Testimonials in honour of Francis flooded social media this month, with friends, family and colleagues paying tribute to her generosity, enthusiasm and passion for her work.

National Parks Commissioner Ann Marie Martin described her as a “committed and loyal” employee.

“She gave 40 years of unwavering service. For us she was not only a manager; she was a mentor, a mother, friend and loving coworker,” Martin said.

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