Sir Lloyd: The quintessential gentleman of Barbadian politics
Statement from acting Prime Minister Santia Bradshaw on the death of former Prime Minister Sir Lloyd Erskine Sandiford.
It is not difficult to understand why, when one achieves the highest political office in the land, as was the case with Sir Lloyd Erskine Sandiford, so many people define you by that period of your life.
While we reflect on the passing of Sir Lloyd this morning, however, I am in no doubt that to do so in this case would be a great injustice to this Barbadian patriot. Sir Lloyd was to Barbados, much more than a former Prime Minister. In fact, the time he served as Prime Minister – from 1987 until 1994 – was but a fraction of his more than half a century of service to his country.
As Acting Prime Minister, I could, like so many others, speak of Sir Lloyd as Prime Minister, as Deputy Prime Minister, as Minister of Economic Affairs and Tourism, as Minister of Education, or as Ambassador to China.
As a politician, I could use this moment to speak of his long and extensive contribution to the Democratic Labour Party and Barbadian politics generally.
As a former Minister of Education myself, I could focus on all he achieved while heading that ministry at a very critical time in the history and development of our nation.
But for now, as the daughter of a political family, I will speak of Sir Lloyd as the quintessential gentleman of Barbadian politics. For me, he will always be remembered as Sir Lloyd, the teacher. Not of the formal classroom type that he also was, but a teacher of life, a teacher of politics, a teacher of humanity, a teacher of respect.
I will always remember him as the gentleman who never raised his voice, who never had time to be impolite, who understood that a word spoken in the right way and at the right time could make all the difference to another labouring under the weight of his or her circumstances. He was not perfect, as none of us is, but he possessed a gentleness of spirit that endeared him to others.
That is the Sir Lloyd I wish to commend today to younger Barbadians, in particular, whose only knowledge of him might have been fashioned by the comments of politicians on the campaign trail or calypsonians on the Crop-Over stage. He possessed gentlemanly qualities we would all do well to emulate.
Earlier today, I met with Sir Lloyd’s family and extended condolences on behalf of the Government and people of Barbados, on my own behalf and that of my family. I now do so again publicly.
May his soul rest in eternal peace.