EAST ORANGE/ORANGE, NJ — People from all over the area gathered Saturday to remember the founder of Weslande Taxi, Charles Desrin Archelus, 70, who died February 13. Yes, Weslande is the green taxi cars. Charles was celebrated as a confident, strong, compassionate, brilliant scholar, with a passionate interest to give back to his community.
Born on December 21, 1945, in Gonaïves Haiti, Charles excelled in schools in his hometown and Port-au-Prince, Haiti. On March 13, 1965, he married Meredia Previlon. On his fifth wedding anniversary he came to the United States, settling in East Orange. The first of his family to come to the States, he reached back and helped bring his siblings to the area.
In 1979, Charles enrolled in Essex County College where he graduated with a degree in Business Administration and with a certification to become a dental hygienist.
As a savvy entrepreneur, in July 1982, Charles ventured into starting his own business as the founder and CEO of Weslande Taxi Corporation, named after his fist daughter.
Beginning with only four taxis, his shrewd business acumen grew the corporation to encompass a fleet of over 60 taxis. He found great success in East Orange after starting Weslande Taxi Corporation at 76 City Hall Plaza. By the grace of God, Charles continued to prosper and flourish with the purchase of 371 Main Street, 445 Springdale Avenue, and 90 Dodd Street to successfully operate his reliable livery service from the City of East Orange for almost four decades.
Charles also owned Weslande Laundry Mat and on occasion was known to allow his customers who fell on hard times to gratuitously wash their clothes even when they couldn’t afford it. Charles also was the proprietor of Weslande Express, a money transfer service on North Harrison Street in East Orange.
In May 1984, he became a faithful member of Haitian Fellowship Church of God, led by Rev. Pierre-Paul Ambroise, where he proudly served with distinction as an ordained deacon.
As a respected member of the community, Charles always acted unselfishly and consistently tried to help others. He continually kept an interest in advancing Haiti and the community of Desdunes. He was a founding member and prior president of ALAD (Alliance Pour L’Advancement de Desdunes). He later went on to form and successfully lead as president for 19 years, ADED (Association Desdunienne Pour le Development). Annually, ADED hosted an extraordinary event to applaud and recognize those with outstanding service to the Desdunes community.
In 1999, Charles’ vision for promoting education and recreation encouraged him to fund a series of phenomenal construction projects in Desdunes, including a library and a reception hall affectionately named “Weslande Manor de Desdunes”.
Charles is the father of eight children. Weslande D. Archelus Merlain (Francois Merlain deceased), Wesner D. Archelus, Wesline Archelus Valentin (Gino Valentin), Gina Archelus Berry (Jamal Berry), Ronald Archelus, Rochelle M. Archelus, Wesny D. Archelus (Gorety Archelus), and