Dominican-born cultural abassador and tourism specialist Dr Violet Cuffy has passed away at the age of 55. The cause of death is unknown. Hers is the second loss the family have had to endure, as the news of her passing came as they were laying to rest her sister in Dominica.
Violet was senior lecturer at the University of Bedfordshire and before that had been lecturer in International Tourism Management at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh. She gained her PhD in Sustainable Tourism Management at the University of Surrey in 2010. She also held degrees from the University of the West Indies (MSc) and the University of Technology (BEd (Hons)). Before moving to the UK, she worked in Dominica as a teacher at St Martin Secondary School for 13 years and also as a community tourism business development officer.
Violet had a particular interest in the ways that Carnival could be used to help develop countries’ tourism industries and in the impact of Carnival has on tourism-dependent island destinations. She wrote several articles for Soca News and Carnival Grooves on the links between tourism and Carnival.
In 2016, Violet compiled an e-book on the subject, Carnival, Culture and Tourism, although we understand this has not yet been published. Another book listed as “forthcoming” on her profile is Creole Cultures in a Changing Global Contexts, a title that reflects her passion for the creole culture of Dominica and its diaspora.
She was a member of the Board of Trustees for the UK Centre for Carnival Arts in Luton, chair of Waitikubuli Tourism & Culture Association, Board member of DominicaFirst and organiser of the UK Miss Wob Dwiyet and Petit Matador pageants.
Violet will be sorely missed for her warm and engaging personality, her patience and intelligence. She was well-loved and respected, as tributes in Dominican media testify: “Her tenacity and love of Dominica made me very proud… She was a fine example of how to represent your culture wherever you go in the world”; “Energetic, creative and intelligent. She was passionate about Dominica’s culture and heritage”; “Cuffy will be remembered for her vast contribution to the Commonwealth of Dominica in the areas of education, culture and tourism.”
Soca News sends out our condolences to Violet’s friends and family. May she rest in peace.