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Thompson, a man of his word


Kaymar Jordan

Thompson, a man of his word

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The late David Thompson was passionately a Caribbean man even though his strong commitment to regional integration was quite often misunderstood.In a special tribute read during Wednesday’s state funeral service at the Kensington Oval, the CARICOM Chairman, Jamaica’s Prime Minister Bruce Golding, also remembered the late Barbadian leader as a man who could be taken at his word.
“He was a realist and a pragmatist, qualities that so often misrepresented his commitment to regionalism – for he was passionately a Caribbean man dedicated to regional development and the attainment of prosperity throughout the region,” Golding said.“As we worked together – he as the lead Prime Minister on the implementation of our flagship programme the Caribbean Single Market and Economy, and I with responsibility for external trade negotiations – I developed great admiration for his clarity of thought and his profound understanding of the issues affecting Caribbean development.
“He was a man who could always be taken at his word – he said what he meant and meant what he said,” the Jamaican leader added.Golding said the entire Caribbean had borne the loss of an extraordinary man, who brought “a sharp, refreshing and engaging perspective to issues affecting CARICOM”.“All of us, CARICOM leaders, will miss his wise counsel, his timely and effective interventions, his calmness even in contentious debates and that frankness that was so often tempered with his inimitable dry humour,” he said.
At the domestic level, Golding also credited Thompson, who took over the reins of Government here in 2008, with achieving a significant impact in the short space of time. He also praised his leadership during a time of great economic challenge, saying he had approached the job with a “clear mind and steady hands”.“. . . He swam against the currents to preserve the commitments he had made to the Barbadian people which formed the mandate he had been given,” said Golding,  adding that “the entire Caribbean Community has been left much poorer for the loss of one of its distinguished leaders.” 
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