Thursday, February 29, 2024

Stuart to carry on Thompson’s pursuits

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Barbados’ new Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has called on Barbadians to display dignity, discipline and restraint during the period of mourning for the death of the late leader David Thompson.
In his first televised speech to the nation tonight at 8:35 as head of this country, Stuart noted that Barbados had lost two previous prime ministers who died while they were serving in office.
“We brought then all the resources of a resilient national character to bear on our circumstances…. These resources remain undiminshed and are still available for the nation’s reinforcement. He said while Barbadians grieve their leader’s passing, it was another occasion to put on display “our national maturity for all to see”.
Stuart said Barbados will be “officially in mourning” until the late Prime Minister’s funeral. He said arrangements for the funeral are being coordinated by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Senator Maxine McClean, in collaboration with Cabinet office and in consultation with the late Prime Minister’s family.
The public, he said, will be kept appropriately informed about these arrangements.
In his address, Stuart paid tribute to the life of the late Prime Minister, noting that after he took the oath of office in January 2008, “we all looked forward to the kind of leadership he would bring to Barbados since the office of Prime Minister seemed so perfectly to fit him”. He said the first two years was an indication of what was to come. “The contribution of Thompson to public life in Barbdos, was extended, substantial, and wise. His sparkling parliamentary and platform performances, though now ended, will live in our memories . . . .
Stuart, who was sworn in yesterday at Government House, following the death of Thompson at 2:10 a.m. after his battle with pancreatic cancer, said he accepted his new position with humility.
“Upon my shoulders have now devolved the responsiblity of leading the struggle in pursuit of those ideals, for which he (Thompson) stood. With God going before me I accept this responsiblity with humility and a keen sense of duty, ever conscious of the fact not only of the pressing needs of this nation but also of his oft expressed confidence in me”.
Stuart expressed condolences to Thompson’s wife Mara, his daughters Mischa, Oya and Osa-Marie, his parents and his siblings and all others who were “gladdened by his life and now saddened by his death”.
carolmartindale@nationnews.com

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