JIS News

Members of the House of Representatives, on October 26, paid tribute to the late Prime Minister of Barbados, David Thompson, who died early Saturday morning (October 23), at the age of 48.
Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding said Mr. Thompson had brought a sharp, incisive perspective to the discussions of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
Mr. Golding noted that Mr. Thompson served for less than three years, during a challenging period, as he had come to office at the onset of the global recession, which has impacted the Barbadian economy.
“As a member of CARICOM, he was considered by me and by all the other Heads as a valuable member,” Mr. Golding said, noting that he had worked closely with Mr. Thompson, in his capacity as a lead player in the implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy.
“He was someone who was fiercely committed to the development of Barbados – so fiercely committed that it could be misconstrued – and it has been – as a less than robust commitment to regional integration, and that is not true. David Thompson was passionately committed to regional development,” the Prime Minister said.
Mr. Golding said that despite the severity of Mr. Thompson’s illness, CARICOM leaders had hoped that somehow he would have been able to beat pancreatic cancer. “The Barbadian people have lost a young and dynamic leader. He represented so much promise, so much hope.CARICOM has lost one of its finest minds, and one of its steadiest pair of hands,” Mr. Golding said.
Opposition Leader, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller also joined in extending condolences to the people of Barbados and the family of Mr. Thompson. “It is sad. We never felt that such a young man, who started making his contribution to his country, would have passed on,” she said.
“We had hoped that he would have recovered.he made a valuable contribution, not only to Barbados, but certainly to the region,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said.
Member of Parliament for East Central St. Andrew, Dr. Peter Phillips described Mr. Thompson as a “calm, deliberate, astute, reasonable and committed person.”
“In a sense he didn’t have a politician’s personality, but that did not mask the kind of quiet determination that he brought to bear in his political career,” Dr. Phillips said.
Education Minister and Leader of Government Business in the House, Hon. Andrew Holness remembers Mr. Thompson as a young member of the Barbadian Parliament, in his mid-20s.
“I was Jamaica’s youth representative to a Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in Barbados. I vividly recall his presentation to us.and it was for me an inspiring experience, because it got my mind thinking. I developed the idea in my mind that I too could at that age become a Member of Parliament, and it was at that point in time when I made the decision to enter politics,” he said.
“The people of Barbados are now in mourning, and they should know that Jamaica mourns with them,” the minister said.
Mr. Golding will attend the state funeral for Mr. Thompson in Barbados on Wednesday, November 3.
A condolence book for Mr. Thompson was opened on (October 28), at the residence of the Honorary Consul for Barbados, at 55 Norbrook Drive, in St. Andrew.

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