The award that brought tears

Genevieve Astaphan breaks down in tears as she awaits to receive the Sisserou Award on the behalf of her father
Genevieve Astaphan breaks down in tears as she awaits to receive the Sisserou Award on the behalf of her father

It was just too much for Genevieve Astaphan.

The tears flowed freely as she stood in the line on Independence Day (November 3) waiting to receive the nation’s second highest award, the Sisserou Award for Honor, on behalf of her father, Waddy Astpahan.

The elderly Astaphan was being awarded for his contribution to Dominica in the field of business.

“It was a great honour,” an emotional Astaphan told DNO after the ceremony, which took place at the Windsor Park Sports Stadium. “I just wish my dad was able to be here and that was one of the most touching things for me; that he could not be here to see that his achievements are being recognized…”

Genevieve has reasons to be proud of her father. He joined the family business, known today as J. Astaphan & Co. (1970) Ltd, in 1942 and guided it from the humble beginnings of retailing basic foods to one of the most vibrant and effective commercial business in Dominica.

Its Head Office, Supermarket and Departmental Store, occupy some 70,000 sq. feet of prime space in the heart of Roseau. Just five minutes away is located the 67,000 sq. ft. fully palletized Warehouse and Hardware/Foodstuff Distribution Centre. The manufacture of Furniture, Foam/Foam Products, storage and Automobile Sales and Maintenance occupies over 70,000 s.ft. of buildings on an 8 acre site at the Canefield Industrial Estate.

Genevieve said under the guidance of her father the company has had a great impact on Dominica. “We create significant employment, we give a lot back to the community and we’ve done a lot of expansion in the last couple of years,” she noted. “So I believe that the company has contributed significantly to Dominica.”

She said the company is grateful for the support it has received from Dominicans over the years. “Without the people of Dominica, no company can be successful and I am really appreciative of the support we have received from the communities from north, south, east and west since we serve the entire island. To them we are eternally grateful. The family can never ever say thank you for all the support we’ve gotten from them,” she remarked.

She noted that Waddy, who is ill and bedridden, would have been proud to be present at the ceremony although he is a humble man. “He doesn’t like the fanfare and the whole drama of everything,” she said. “He does his stuff and he does it without wanting the recognition. He is just a humble man but he would be proud and glad that he is being recognized. He would accept it with the greatest of humility.”

Others who received the Sisserou Award of Honour are Valena Geraldine Letang, in the area of Music and Music Education; Alix Boyds Knights for Parliamentary Service and The George Karam Family in the area of Business and Tourism.

Disclaimer: The comments on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of Inc. All comments are approved by before they are posted. We never censor based on political or ideological points of view, but we do try to maintain a sensible balance between free speech and responsible moderating.

We will delete comments that:

  • violate or infringe the rights of any person, are defamatory or harassing or include personal attacks
  • are abusive, profane or offensive
  • contain material which violates or encourages others to violate any applicable law
  • promote hatred of any kind
  • refer to people arrested or charged with a crime as though they had been found guilty
  • contain links to "chain letters", pornographic or obscene movies or graphic images
  • are excessively long and off-message

See our full comment/user policy/agreement.


  1. ml
    November 9, 2013

    well deserved, congrats to the family, keep da going

  2. Francisco Telemaque
    November 7, 2013

    Tony, I do not know if you will ever see this, or read it since the link is disappearing.

    I do not know what you mean when you use the term super; however in if you are suggesting that I am a supervisor of some building in Los Angeles, that might be true. However, it is important to not that Real Estate is my business.

    Perhaps they did no give you the news correctly, nonetheless, be informed I own several apartment buildings in both the city of Los Angeles, and also in the city of Hawthorne.

    So; shouldn’t I manage, and supervise my own business?

    Tony once again, professionally, I am an Electronic/Electrical Engineer who could afford to retire at the ripe old age of 47 years old, since then I have only worked for ” me myself and I.”

    I praise and thank God for the life and the comforts of life he has afforded me, you have the same opportunity, as I if you are an resident of the United States. As for ben considered smart, I am a shadow where it pertains to “smart” in comparison to some of my relatives, such as nephews, and nieces, and cousins on both my mother and father side.

    I fought with one of my nephews last night and today, “man is Wesley, so smart, I discover we have a personality complex, our personality clashes, and the culprit in the matter, it all about our educational background, ( I give him credit though cause man has masters degree eh; man has a master degree in computer engineering eh; and some other degree in Robotics, I doh as half as smart as de man eh!)


    I mean seriously, my nephew is what I term darn smart, he is about to earn a PhD.,in something ( I doh can ask him cause we fighting too much, so I told him today consider me dead, ( cause I doh arguing with him any more). Tony all men are born equally, you simply have to chose your path in live, and peruse it, give it your best shot, and never deviate from what you first set out to do.

    I also have a niece in the navy, also involved into military electronics, she maintains the electronic system on fighter aircrafts, and helicopters okay, my inelegance is beneath that of my nieces and nephews. I am very proud of them!

    Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque

  3. true dominican
    November 7, 2013

    I was told that the editor is a college grad from the Carib Territory….Good job young man…

  4. true dominican
    November 7, 2013

    Well said D.N.O. For the first time in a very long time I agree with you all. Let common sense prevail. Better yet, let good schooling prevail. LOL

  5. True That
    November 6, 2013

    Congrats to the Astaphans. This is a great shopping place, the staff are pleasant and the goods are reasonable that the poor man can afford. The clothing and shoe sections are of the highest quality. Everything is reasonable priced at all Astaphans stores. People shop at Astaphans you will not regret it also ask them about their discount cards very helpful when shopping. I remain an Astaphans Shopper first choice.

  6. Alex Bruno
    November 6, 2013

    Congratulations to Waddy Astaphan and family.

    • Doc. Love.
      November 6, 2013

      Breaking news: Mr. Alex Bruno is the United Workers Party candidate for the Calibishie Constituency. Welcome home brother.

  7. cscious
    November 6, 2013

    T older business men knew the needed the people. Mr Waddy was always in the store. I watched him when I went to the store always pleasant to the customers. The new generation of Astaphans are nothing like their father. The children should take a few lessons form him before the business disappear.

  8. military minded
    November 6, 2013

    Well deserved

  9. Neg Mawon
    November 5, 2013

    intresting twist in Da’s history…well deserved Mr. Astaphans!!!

  10. Jenny
    November 5, 2013

    Well deserved award. Overdue, but better late than never. Continue helping us the less unfortunate. God bless you.

  11. Man on the Ground
    November 5, 2013


    ADMIN: For the millionth time, stop posting in all CAPS and your comment will not end up in the rubbish bin.

    • Critical thinking
      November 5, 2013

      @Man on the Ground, it is considered shouting to type in all caps. Admin is right that you are being rude to post your comments in all caps.

    • John Paul
      November 5, 2013

      Admin could You explain why caps are such a sin?Is there some rational reason why caps are so much unacceptable to You ?Educate us please

      • Francisco Telemaque
        November 6, 2013

        John Paul, only an idiot would ask such an foolish question!

        I am sure you are not an idiot, and do not wish to make yourself look stupid. I left school in Dominica a very long time ago in Wesley, the school I attended there is no longer in existence, it was blown into oblivion by hurricane David, or another devastating huricane.

        However, even on my first day in School at four years old: since I was a big boy, they decided to allow me to enter prior to my fifth birthday which was the legal age to be accepted in kindergarten; even then in kindergarten we were thought that we should not write a complete sentence in all capital letters.

        We were taught that all sentences must be commenced with a capital letter, and continue in lower case letters as you are reading here and now.

        We were thought that the names of people, animal, places, and things also commences with a capital letter. The theory still stands to this day; anybody who writes in all capital letters may not have attended kindergarten, or never attained any form of scholastic education.

        That is the sin of writing in all capital letters. I know some stupid Dominicans express themselves in all capital letters believing they are emphasizing a point, however, that is stupid, since there are certain punctuation points which can be used to emphasize something.

        To each his own anyway, it all depends on the level of one’s education; educational background. It is quite easy to determine the educated from the uneducated scholastically; based on what the present, and how they do it in writing!

        And DNO have every right to omit some people crap including mine from their site when it is nothing more than garbage, and many of mine are kicked out too.


        Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque

      • November 6, 2013

        Mr Telemaque.

        Hello and good evening. Well Mr Telemaque you are really a piece of work. You are correct with the instruction to “man on the ground” but you can reframe from using derogatory words at people. Typing in all caps are unprofessional and it don’t conform to proper writing.

    • Francisco Telemaque
      November 6, 2013


      DNO I agree with you that all such garbage written in capital letters should be discarded; it is one thing to allow everyone the opportunity to express their opinions on your site.

      However, since DNO is viewed internationally, one have to be careful not to allow the nonsense some people write when viewed by the world may lead them to believe that all of us Dominicans are idiots!

      This individual need to know that it is not their crap alone that is dispatched into oblivion, many of my comments are discarded into the garbage bin too:

      Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah! They curse me out the other day because I commented on the way most of them use certain symbols punctuation, between words. Everyone can bump their fingers on a computer carrier (keyboard), however, just because a symbol looks nice does not mean they are using it appropriately.

      Example: ( ) the symbols here in one case means “less than.” The other means “greater than” many times Dominicans use those in sentences to punctuate but that’s not the purpose they designed for in another case the can be combined with another symbol to indicate (less than; grater than or equal to).

      Such are used in upper level mathematics indicating less than, or greater than; or equal to or as filters in computer programing, and I know that for a fact because I have used them that way in my profession

      In certain functions in computer programing they are used technically as a filter, commonly when programs are benign written. I chose to be repetitive here with the hope that someone may read and understand the concept!

      Punctuation symbols such as apostrophe ‘ parentheses ( ), brackets { }, colon : comma , nor the exclamation point ! no longer exist for some of the people who write on DNO, the latest trend is going overboard using the dash – the hyphen _ or ellipsis (or suspension points) ………. ……… How stupid our people has become! the period . is also out the window to some people.

      Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque

      • November 6, 2013

        Mr Telemaque.

        Hello and good evening. Since you Claim be to so smart then why are you a super of a building in California.

      • Francisco Telemaque
        November 6, 2013

        Forgive me, the symbols I made reference to as in less than, and greater than I intend to place in the
        parentheses, as such ( ) meaning greater than,and less than. However, failed to do so, all due to my racing mind.

        Hence means greater than or equal to:

        Note; the lines under the symbols should be closer together; that should actually be the equal sign.


      • Francisco Telemaque
        November 6, 2013

        Okay DNO can you please remove the last comments I made, trying to explain by showing the symbols lese than and greater than, and grater then or equal to.

        It will not register unless it tabled, on to your site, and that is the reason for the blank parentheses, you can also delete this message also.



      • SoFla
        November 6, 2013

        You were ‘taught’ not ‘thought’

  12. Anonymous
    November 5, 2013

    It was a great moment and this is no surprise that she would have been moved to tears. Mr. Waddy Astaphan is a very humble man and he would have been even more humbled to receive the award himself. His daughter represented him well. This was a long overdue award!! The Astaphans did not have to stay and invest in Dominica and become part of the fabric of society. They did and Dominica on a whole continues to benefit in many ways.

    Congratulations to all the business people who take the risks but at the same time love and appreciate the employees who help them make their companies successful.

  13. T mama
    November 5, 2013

    Congrats to MR Waddy…he is a humble and very nice man…..I understand Jeny.s feeling, she is proud of her dad…

  14. Plan Dominque
    November 5, 2013

    Congratulations Waddy and J Astaphans you deserve it

  15. cast the first rock
    November 5, 2013

    And it has survived many, many hard times. So well deserving of an award/recognition. Congratulations Mr. Waddy Astaphan and family.

  16. Anonymous
    November 5, 2013

    Very touching. I wish he would be able to still know that he is being recognized. Congrats Waddy

  17. "O" STRESS"
    November 5, 2013

    Well deserved! by all keep the works going.

  18. Errol Hyson
    November 5, 2013

    My heartfelt congratulations to Mr. Astaphan and his hardworking family and staff.
    I (Errol Hyson) enjoyed working for the company as Appliance manager, for many years before immigrating to Canada.
    Mr. Astaphan and myself had become close friends. Some of my fondest times, were spent with him boating and fishing on Sundays and holidays; Thanks for the memories. How I wish they could return.
    My Fondest Regards to you Sir. MY GOD BLESS YOU.

  19. Original Observer
    November 5, 2013

    “As for me and my house, Astaphans is where we shop. From food stuff to appliances to clothing to just name it. Astaphans has been very good to us. Congratulations

  20. vexness
    November 5, 2013

    Unbeatable prices that’s astsphans helping u save money that’s our business… :)

  21. hmm
    November 5, 2013

    Wicked Gene wicked. She is so mean never thought she was capable of feeling enough to cry. Did the Dominicans/Farmers who invested in Astaphans ever got a return on their investment?

  22. Doc. Love.
    November 5, 2013

    I hope it was tears of joy. It should have been the Karams who should have been shedding tears having to remember the six hours barrage of stones upon their residence in 1979. According to Peter Karam, Charles Savavin, the one that was presenting them with an award, was partly responsible for his mother having to hide under a bed for her protection from the stones.

    • November 6, 2013

      Pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Dominica My Mum ANita Karam and family , We are All ready and have buried The Hatchet okk GOD said Forgive And Forget So Mr President It Was Politics in Those Days Let Bygones Be Bygones I jokam say Let Us Forgive and MOVE on Who wants To get Vexed zafey DOH Zot we the KARAM brothers And Sisters Have Forgiven The past SOOOO I DO NOt want anyone talking about The Karams Anymore THIS IS OUR PERSONAL AFFAIR thanks dj jokOne More Time Congrats to all who received an award amen

  23. sam
    November 5, 2013

    Congratulations to the Astaphans and family. This was too long in coming and very well deserved.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

:) :-D :wink: :( 8-O :lol: :-| :cry: 8) :-? :-P :-x :?: :oops: :twisted: :mrgreen: more »

 characters available