Saturday, April 20, 2024

Sir Lloyd saw David grow forth


Share post:

David Thompson’s death has left a “deep void in our national life” says the man who gave him his first Cabinet appointment, Sir Lloyd Erskine Sandiford.
The former Prime Minister now Ambassador to Beijing, said he, his family and the staff of the embassy in China were “profoundly shaken and grieved” by Thompson’s passing last Saturday.
Sir Lloyd, Prime Minister from 1987 to 1994 when Thompson first became a minister at 28 and later undertook the portfolio of Minister of Economic Affairs, said the loss was also personal.
“From time to time, I would give him and his sister a drive part of the way to secondary school, his mother worked with me as an assistant at Ilaro Court, the Prime Minister’s official residence.
“. . . I saw him grow up as a young Democrat. I attended his wedding in St Lucia,” the ambassador said in a statement issued to THE NATION.
Sir Lloyd recounted supporting Thompson for the Democratic Labour Party’s 1987 nomination for the St John constituency which he went on to win, succeeding the late Errol Walton Barrow, also a former prime minister.
“I chose him for his first Government ministry in 1989, assigning him one of the smallest ministries at the time, so that he could learn the ropes of political ministerial life and the intricacies of Cabinet Government.
“A few years later, I chose him to be Minister of Economic Affairs, where he performed well, particularly in the resolution of complex agricultural economic matters.”
Throughout the years, said Sir Lloyd, he observed the development of Thompson who, before speaking, “would study his subject, note the strengths and weaknesses, and marshal a case based on his beliefs, assumptions and convictions”.
“He was a wily and skilful debater, a good orator to have on your side but a fearsome and daunting tactician to have as an opponent.
“In it all, he radiateda personal charm and a resurgent commitment to duty in a head that was wiser than his years would indicate.
“David Thompson served as Prime Minister for only two years, too short a time in which to fulfil the many outcomes he dreamt of achieving in the Barbados he loved.
“But during that time and taking his entire public life into account, he endeared himself to the people he engaged through the liberal views he held, his generous and humanitarian spirit, his witty,  jocular and sometimes sardonic view of events and people, as well as by his willingness to serve and to accommodate.
“On all occasions when it mattered, he gave me loyal and dedicated support.
“I am humbled and despondent over his passing. So will [be] thousands of Barbadians. But God knows best what personal or social ill he may have been relieved of or spared.”
Sir Lloyd urged everyone to contemplate Thompson’s life and achievements as a leader in every area of his life.
“May we gain encouragement from his achievements. His cup of life’s struggles and tribulations has been drained.
“In his passing, he leaves a deep void in our national life.
“The rest of us who are alive must find inspiration in the battles he fought and fortify ourselves to continue the unending fight to make our country a better place in which to strive to improve our mortal existence.”
To Thompson’s family, Sir Lloyd prayed for solace and consolation in the “expectation and knowledge that they will be fully sustained in health and peace as the cynosure of their love and affection enters eternal life”.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related articles

Flash Flood Warning in effect for northwestern districts

The Barbados Meteorological Services (BMS) has issued a Flash Flood Warning for the northern districts of Barbados, effective...

Dust haze advisory remains in effect for Barbados

The Barbados Meteorological Services (BMS) urges residents to be aware of an ongoing significant dust haze advisory. A...

Public cautioned against fake social media posts about President

Members of the public are being cautioned against participating in any schemes claiming to be in the name...

Netflix profits soar after password sharing crackdown

Netflix says its profits have soared in the first three months of this year, partly thanks to a...