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REMEMBERING BREE: Tributes to Sir Harold

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REMEMBERING BREE: Tributes to Sir Harold

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The following are excerpts taken from tributes to Sir Harold St John by former parliamentary colleagues at the time of his death in 2004.

Former St Joseph MP Dr Richard “Johnny” Cheltenham:

The contribution of Sir Harold St John to the public life of this country has been outstanding and justice cannot be done in a sound bite.

I was at his bedside when he passed at 5:10 this evening and I feel acutely his death. For 40 years he was at the centre of the public life of the country and his passing has created a void which will be hard to fill. He brought a robust and many-sided intellect to public life and in everything he did his rock-like integrity shone through.

He was the most devoted patriot of our time who day after day concerned himself with the health and well-being of the country.

Government MP Louis Tull:

I saw him at the hospital around 4 p.m. His is a great loss to Barbados. He was one of the best exemplars of persons in public life that you could find.

He was very straightforward and honest – a hard worker who was extremely knowledgeable about public affairs. He gave guidance to a whole generation of politicians and to me personally.

Opposition Leader Clyde Mascoll

Ii is with deep regret that we in the Democratic Labour Party learnt of the passing of former Prime Minister Sir Harold St John.

We acknowledge with his passing that an important era in Barbadian politics has come to an end.

Sir Harold made a conscientious contribution to the politics of Barbados and the country is the poorer for his passing.

Former Deputy Prime Minister Philip Greaves:

THE PASSING of someone well known to me from our days at school is always a matter for my regret and for some soul-searching.

The passing of Sir Harold is not merely a loss of someone well-known. It is a loss to Barbados of a brilliant and enquiring mind.

In Parliament he did not speak lengthily, but his contributions were most unsettling to his opponents.

Chief Justice Sir David Simmons

“It is with very great regret and a sense of personal loss that I have learnt of the passing of Sir Harold St John.

For many years he was close to me in politics and in law. It was he who gave me my first opportunity of ministerial service when he appointed me as Attorney-General in May 1985, a preferment which I have truly cherished.

Barbados has lost one of its truly outstanding sons, who had a large and well-deserved regional and international reputation for excellence in whatever sphere his considerable intellect was engaged.

Former Prime Minister Sir Lloyd Sandiford

I knew him particularly as a thoughtful, gifted and eloquent defender and advocate of the many issues and causes which he embraced. He was earnest and sincere. I remember him as a fervid member of the Under-40s, battling for the cause of Federation and integration in the Caribbean, of which he was a resolute, unwavering champion.

I remember him as a dedicated parliamentarian, well versed in the skills of debate, who could take up cudgels to attack or defend any proposal or project. He was indeed a highly esteemed member of our Parliament.

Dame Billie Miller, chairman of the Barbados Labour Party

Sir Harold St John was one of the greatest Barbadian patriots of our time.

For the family of the Barbados Labour Party he was the embodiment of political loyalty, political rectitude, a man of the most enormous political courage, coming back to the task again and again after personal and overwhelming party defeats.

He was disinterested in the vanities of this life, but cared deeply and passionately for the people and the destiny of this island, especially for his beloved Oistin Town as he always called it.

His unswerving commitment to the regional integration process was beyond question.