REMEMBERING BARROW: A towering figure in the region
A TOWERING FIGURE in West Indian politics and a strong Caribbean nationalist.
This was the description given last night of the late Barbados Prime Minister, Errol Barrow, by President of the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), William Demas.
Barrow was co-founder of the Caribbean Free Trade Area (CARIFTA), forerunner of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
“The region has lost a great Caribbean nationalist and a strong defender of Caribbean sovereignty,” Demas told CANA.
Describing Barrow as a man who did much to shape this island and the region as they are today, Demas said Barrow had made an outstanding contribution to last year’s CARICOM Heads of Government conference in Guyana and had been actively preparing for this year’s summit, having prosed several important initiatives for consideration.
These, Demas said, included proposals for replacing the British Privy Council with a Caribbean Court of Appeal and proposals for putting regional transportation on a sound footing.
According to the former CARICOM Secretary-General, Barrow also planned to raise for discussion at this month’s summit in St. Lucia a number of important issues, including proposals for new common services within the 13-nation community in addition to those like the University of the West Indies and the West Indies Shipping Corporation (WISCO).
Tremendous loss to the Caribbean
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO Minister of External Affairs Basdeo Panday said last night the death of Barbadian Prime Minister Errol Barrow was a tremendous loss not only to Barbados, but also to the entire Caribbean.
Panday was speaking at his home shortly after he was informed of the Prime Minister’s death. He said Barrow was truly a Caribbean man “committed to Caribbean unity”. Panday said from recent meetings he held with him, the late Prime Minister was truly committed to regionalism and the well-being of Caribbean peoples.
Barrow was last there from April 3 to 5 when he held talk with Prime Minister AN.R. Robinson and Panday. Barbadian Minister of Tourism Branford Taitt is in Trinidad.
Panday said Barrow would be sorely missed at this stage of Caribbean development.
“I knew him fairly well. He was a man of tremendous wit and humour and an extremely charming person.”
Charles: Death a shock
PRIME MINISTER MARY EUGENIA CHARLES of Dominica said last night her government and people were shocked at the passing of Errol Barrow.
According to her, the Dominica House of Assembly was meeting when she received word of the death just after 8:30 p.m. She, however, only told Members of Parliament as the news had not been released officially at that time in Barbados.
“It is very sad that Barbados should lose two great men in such a short space of time (referring to the death of former Prime Minister Tom Adams in March 1985). I share your loss.
“However, the people of Barbados have a lot of resilience and I have no doubt they will be able to pick up the pieces and get things moving again,” said Ms. Charles.
Describing the late Prime Minister as a “grand old man”, she said his death was not only a loss to Barbados but to the entire Caribbean.
“If he was not in office his death would still have been a great Ioss to the Caribbean. But the fact of the matter is that he was in office and the Caribbean will mourn his loss for some time.”
These articles were published June 2, 1987.