Religious leaders react
As the country mourns the death of Prime Minister David Thompson, who succumbed to pancreatic cancer early this morning, members of the local clergy expressed deep sentiments of regret and condolences to the man that led our nation.
There is an outpouring of glowing tributes from representatives of all denominations across the island, who praised the vision of this man who finally achieved the opportunity to fulfill his life’s dream to lead the nation.
Senator Reverend Dr David Durant, who was with the Prime Minister when he died early this morning said: “He fought valiantly and he died peacefully. Myself and Pastor Elisias Joseph were able to pray with him and he was released into the arms of God.
“It is important for us to follow his legacy. He was a man who believed in family, he was a good husband to his wife, Mara, a good father to his children and a good leader whose qualities need to be emulated.
“At this time we need to remember his family in our prayers. It is at this time that God chose to take him and we must submit to his sovreignty”.
Similar sentiments were echoed from the Roman Catholic community.
Reverend Monsignor Vincent said, “First of all I was extremely saddened when I was awakened in the wee hours of the morning to be told that the Prime Minister had passed away. Although in a sense we knew this was inevitable, yet we still continued to be shocked at this passing of a young man who had just taken over as Prime Minister of this nation. It reminded me of the death of Princess Diana or the shock of President Kennedy. All of us are spellbound.
Reverend Ferdinand Nicholls of House of Freedom said: “We are deeply sorrowful at his passing but we trust the sovereignty of God in the decisions that He makes. He alone knows all things, and at times of loss like this our faith can rest in the goodness and omniscience of the Lord.”
Reverend Cuthbert Edwards, district president, the Methodist Church in the Caribbean & the Americas South Caribbean District said: “It was with deep regret and sadness that I learned of the passing of Prime Minister David Thompson. His passing at this relatively young age is not only a loss to Barbados but to the entire region at a time when the nation and region needs dedicated, committed political leadership.
Reverend Orland Seale, district superintendent, Church of the Nazarene extended sympathy to Thompson’s family.
“We thank God for the life and legacy of our Prime Minister and the tremendous contribution he has made to our nation Barbados. His attainment of the Prime Ministership after years of preparation and perseverance has taught us the importance of setting meaningful goals and remaining focused no matter the difficulties”.
Bishop Dr John Holder noted that all Barbadians are saddened by the news of the passing of “our beloved Prime Minister”.
“Those who got to know him well could not but admire his calm and collected approach to life. His approach to matters was always marked by a humane touch that reminded us of his care for the people of this country and indeed for all humanity”.
Suleman Bulbulia, secretary of the Barbados Muslim Association said: “
“Our faith reminds us that, “every soul shall taste death”. At a time when our nation faces such a sad and tragic occasion we pray for Almighty God’s continued Guidance, blessings and wisdom for our country and accept His Will in the timing of this sad event.
Rev Carlyle Williams, district superintendent of the 38 Wesleyan Holiness churches in Barbados, said it was sad that Thompson had passed while yet in the prime of his youth. Nevertheless, he added, .
“Even though as a church and as a people we would have been in prayer, God’s has exercised His sovereign will We shall continue in prayer for his family, children and of course the nation as a whole.