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Stuart pays tribute

John Sealy

Stuart pays tribute

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From an early age, David Thompson was seen as a future Prime Minister of Barbados.
This was the view of Prime Minister Freundel Stuart today in the House of Assembly as MPs paid tribute to Thompson who died October 23, following a battle with pancreatic cancer, at 48.
Stuart told the House he had known Thompson since 1979 when he was introduced by Branford Taitt, the now president of the Senate.
And since then, he “had enjoyed a friendship based on mutual respect and trust and had always felt very comfortable working with him”.
Stuart said, however, that it was not always “that we saw eye to eye on issues. If anything can threaten a good friendship, party politics can”.
“From time to time, we have had our differences which we have always resolved in a very civilised way. I can say that never once in our very long relationship has David Thompson ever raised his voice at me … .”
Stuart said the period 1994 to 2008 was a very trying period for Thompson, “and unfortunately, he heard things about himself that he did not know … of course, he sometimes felt the pain that flows from hearing untruths told about him. But he always understood that this was the stuff of which adversarial politics was made and therefore, to his credit, he never allowed the frontiers of his personality to be encroached on by malice of any kind”.
He recalled the time that he had heard of Thompson’s death.
 “It was on Saturday, 23 of October (2010) just past 2:15 in the morning that I received news that my friend and colleague of many years, David John Howard Thompson QC, MP and Prime Minister of Barbados had passed from this life.
“Although I had known for sometime that my friend was ailing, although I had been privy to his seemingly unstoppable physical deterioration, and although he had shared with me stories of his agony, yet the shock and sense of grief and loss I had experienced were great.”