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REFLECTING ON RELATIONSHIPS: A TRIBUTE TO JOE DAVIS – A COLUMN BY BASIL SPRINGER, JANUARY 28, 2024

Dr. Basil Springer

“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.” – John 15:12

In my column “Journey to wellness: balancing mind, body and relationships,” dated January 14, 2024, I underscored the importance of cherishing relationships. Soon after, however, I found myself grappling with a sense of loss over a relationship that had faded over time.

My son Kevin, who began a new role in May 2023, met a colleague, Kirby. Upon learning Kevin’s last name, Kirby enquired if Kevin was related to Basil Springer, his late stepfather’s former colleague. This man was none other than Joe Davis, whom I worked closely with for years, but I hadn’t known of his passing.

The news came as a shock. In September 2023, Irma Lawrence, a mutual colleague from Systems Caribbean Limited (SCL), casually mentioned she had attended Joe’s funeral the previous year. Kevin confirmed this sad truth upon researching the recorded stream of Joseph Zachariah Davis’ funeral service: Friday, June 17, 2022 – Sunrise: December 27, 1948, Sunset: May 25, 2022.

The unmistakable image of Joe, now with a bald head and distinguished grey beard, was strikingly different from the black afro I remembered from our days at Systems. This was indeed the same Joe I worked with, and I shared this with Kevin.

I watched the streamed video, particularly moved by the eulogy given by Joe’s son Carlos. It filled in the gaps over the years we had lost. I even saw my god-daughter Joanne, Joe’s daughter, now with her own family.

Joe and I first collaborated in 1977 after the passing of a mutual colleague, Peter Cooke-Johnson. Although unplanned, I incorporated market research into my company, SINCOS’ portfolio, leveraging my statistical training. Our first project was a survey for the Nation Publishing Company, followed by numerous commissioned political opinion polls.

Joe was my first colleague when I started my business consulting practice in 1977, with part-time assistance from Marianna Marshall and the late Marjorie Martin. We were a formidable team at Systems for 23 years.

In 1984, we expanded Systems Caribbean Limited (SCL), co-owned by John Gibbs and myself. The business grew to a full-time team of over 50 in size and was sold in 2000 to Systems Consulting Limited (now owned by Stephen Broome and Mark Chandler).

Soon after SCL was sold, Joe established his own company, Systematic Marketing & Research Services Limited, while I became an independent consultant. Our paths diverged, and our connection dwindled, compounded by my relocation to Trinidad and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The regrettable news of Joe’s passing on May 25, 2022, reached me belatedly. I was actually visiting family in Texas during his funeral service. Despite the information age, I was unaware of his passing.

After viewing the streamed funeral service, I felt compelled to acknowledge this loss. This tribute is a testament to Joe’s significant contributions and a belated expression of condolences to his family. It serves as a reminder to cherish and nurture our relationships lest they fade into oblivion. 

May you rest in eternal peace, my dear brother Joe, and may your legacy of professionalism, humility, and unwavering character endure and inspire others.

(Dr. Basil Springer GCM is a Change-Engine Consultant. His email address is [email protected]. His columns may be found at www.nothingbeatsbusiness.com/basil-springer-column/ and on www.facebook.com/basilgf).

Marketplace Excellence, 1812 Front Street, Suite 1814-3F, Scotch Plains, NJ 07076 | www.marketplaceexcellence.com

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