End of a long innings
Gline Clarke, 69, one the longest sitting members of Parliament and one who has seen the ruling Barbados Labour Party (BLP) through some high and low points, ended his elective political life almost as quietly as when he entered.
It was a little known Clarke, a school teacher whom then prime minister-in-waiting, the late Owen Arthur, reintroduced to the public in 1994 after seizing upon the political turbulence within the ruling Democratic Labour Party to execute a successful no-confidence motion against then Prime Minister Lloyd Erskine Sandiford (now Sir Lloyd).
As Arthur rode the wave of popularity that eventually crested in 2008 with the BLP’s defeat, Clarke was alongside him, surviving in St George North as he had in every election from 1994.
Prior to casting his hat in the ring, Clarke was a vice counsel and liaison officer at the Barbados High Commission in Canada from 1983 to 1987 and helped to form the Barbados Overseas Community-Canada Inc., dedicated to promoting the heritage of Barbadians living in and supporting Canada. He was its first president.
A member of the BLP for more than 40 years, Clarke was also executive assistant to then Leader of the Opposition Henry Forde (Sir Henry) working with him from 1991 to 1993. His first election outing was in 1991 and he went down to the seasoned Cyril Walker, a former Minister of Education.
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