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Former diplomat Orlando Marville dies


GERCINE CARTER, [email protected]

Former diplomat Orlando Marville dies

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Former Barbadian educator, author, senator and diplomat Orlando Marville has died.

Marville, who lived at Cummins Road, Brittons Hill, St Michael, passed away on Saturday at age 83.

Educated at the Parry School and Harrison College, the former Barbados Scholar had an extensive teaching career in Barbados, England, Sweden and Africa. He was a UNESCO expert at a Teachers’ Training College in Freetown, Sierra Leone, and headed a bilingual school in Cote d’Ivoire from 1971 to ’72, teaching English, French and history throughout the period.

Marville entered the Ministry of Education after his return from Africa and served for one year before being transferred to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

On loan to the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation after joining that ministry, he established the Export Promotion Division. He was next posted to Washington DC as First Secretary in the Barbados Mission, followed by a transfer to the United Nations Mission where he was promoted to Counsellor.

During the UN stint, he became a member of the UN School Board and managed a resolution that allowed for the promotion and greater hiring of staff from developing countries.

He served in Caracas, Venezuela, as Chargé d’Affaires for eight months before going back to Washington. There, with the help of the president of the West Indies Rum and Spirits Producers’ Association (WIRSPA) and a Washington lawyer, he led a lobbying effort that finally allowed the duty-free entry of CARICOM rums into the US market.

In a distinguished diplomatic career, Marville served as Ambassador to the European Union et al from 1987 to 1995 and continued to pursue the trade interests of the region. He was subsequently appointed Assistant Secretary General of CARICOM with responsibility for the Foreign and Internal Relations of Member States and negotiated the entry of Haiti to CARICOM.

In 2002, he became a part-time lecturer in law and governance in CARICOM at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill. This ended in 2015 when he became chairman of the Barbados Agricultural Development and Marketing  Corporation.

Marville, who had a Sunday Sun column titled Marvelling, also served as an Independent Senator and was the author of a novel entitled Children Of The Shadows.

He received the award of Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2012, for his work in the foreign service, while Government bestowed the Companion of Honour of Barbados in 2017 for “distinguished national achievement and merit”.

Among those mourning Marville’s passing is his widow Anita Marville. (GC)

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