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REMEMBERING DAVID: Air of sadness in City

TREVOR YEARWOOD, [email protected]

REMEMBERING DAVID: Air of sadness in City

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SHOCK, SADNESS and stoicism were the dominant features last Saturday as Bridgetown tried to come to grips with the death of Prime Minister David Thompson.


Fruit and vegetable vendors, bar operators and barbers as well as their clients spoke of being roused from sleep in the wee hours of the morning by relatives and neighbours – some weeping – who wanted to share the grim news.


As radios around them played solemn music, they spoke in quiet tones about Thompson’s generosity, his focus on strong families, the ease with which he would “hang out with people” and his efforts to unite Barbadians.


Fairchild Street barber shop operator Stanfield Holder said: “Barbados has lost a true son of the soil, a genuine person. Even the day is reflecting the loss and the sadness Barbadians feel.”


One of his customers, herbalist Evans Oneal Waldron said: “He was so loved that even people who voted against his party feed bad that he passed away.”


Albert Bowen, a representative of the Fairchild Street Taxi Association, described Thompson’s death as “a great loss to the Caribbean as well”.


He added: “I hope whoever replaces him will represent the values he stood for, such as ‘families first’. The work he set out to do should be remembered and carried on.”


Lance Fraser, who was relaxing in the Fairchild Street market complex, said: “It’s not nice waking up and the first thing you hear is that your Prime Minister is dead, but that’s the way it was for me. It’s shocking news, but death is not something you can walk away from.”


Used book-seller Isma Gill commented: “Today is a sad day for Barbados. David Thompson was a kind and very generous man.”


Shopper Carlene Belgrave reported: “I got the news about 4 a.m. and I could not get back to sleep. Prime Minister Thompson was here only a short time but still he was a great leader.”


Graphic designer Henderson McCollin said: “His passing is a sad development. But, hopefully, it will bring the country together. David Thompson was really a nationalist. He was a man of the people and someone who from a very early age had a clear focus in terms of where he was going politically.”


Cheapside market vendor Debra Wharton commented: “I got an instant headache when I heard the news. I am sorry that Mr Thompson didn’t get a chance to prove himself as Prime Minister, because his time was so short.”


Another vendor, Anderson Baker, said: “Thompson was a people’s person who could mix easily with anybody. He will be missed. But death is a road all of us have to pass, no matter what side of the political fence you are.”




·         This article was first published October 24, 2010.