Euralis Bouty (1905 – 1986)
Euralis Ethel Therese Bouty
Euralis ‘Boots’ Bouty left an indelible mark on St. Lucian Carnival, with her name being synonymous with the cultural event. ‘Boots’, as she was affectionately called, was elemental in organizing, sourcing sponsorship, prizes, stages and other paraphernalia necessary to make each carnival event a success. She was the creator of one of the island’s top carnival bands- Ms Bouty’s Band. Euralis Bouty was also a sportswoman, who on numerous occasions led national teams for inter-island tournaments. She was awarded the British Empire Medal M.B.E in honour of her contribution to St. Lucian Carnival.
Euralis Ethel Therese Bouty
Known to the world as “Boots”
A dynamic Saint Lucian woman, Leaving an indelible print on the 20th century. Euralis “Boots” Bouty was one of two daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Polius Bouty of Castries. She remained single all her life but was ‘Auntie Boots” to a vast number of children of the friends of her very popular family.
Educated at St. Joseph’s Convent, she acquired a finesse and perfection in all she undertook later in life as a civil servant, social worker and sports woman. She rose to the highest rank in the civil service as a Chief Clerk in many departments including the Agricultural and Administration sectors. The agricultural exhibitions she organized locally and abroad have never been surpassed. It can truly be said that she opened the doors for, and was an encouragement to the small farmers among our rural families.
As President of the Girl’s Physical Culture Club, (activities included PT, swimming, rowing, netball and entertaining) “Boots” led many national teams for inter-island tournaments and competitions. Travel was by the old sailing vessels or small steamboat and these exciting excursions resulted in many inter-regional associations and marriages.
In earlier years her favorite sports were male oriented and she never missed a horse racing event or a cricket match but eventually carnival became her ultimate joy. “Boots” and carnival were synonymous! From the sheer abandonment of “Jourvert” through the splendour of the queen competitions, children’s joyous parades and bands competitions of an increasingly incredibly higher standard, to the stampede of ‘last lap,’ she was the core; organizing, finding sponsors, prizes, stages and other paraphernalia necessary to make a resounding success of every event.
“Boots” was awarded the British Empire Medal M.B.E. but sadly local recognition has been essentially denied to such a competent leader and promoter of our society.
In 1986 she was one of a number of regional sportswomen honoured at a grand dinner in St. Lucia. It was not too long afterwards, unfortunately, that people, at a packed funeral ceremony at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception showed their love and respect for her memory. It was, in reality, a celebration and tribute to a life that had touched so many in our entire region.
“Boots” memories still linger in the hearts and minds, at every social ‘get together,’ of those who shared the joyous unforgettable experience of “Life With Boots”
Author: Ione Erlinger-Ford
Available: Vertical Files- St. Lucia Biographies, Hunter J. Francois Library, Morne Fortune, Castries, St. Lucia