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OECS Chairman Extends Condolences to Government and People of Barbados

OECS Chairman Extends Condolences to Government and People of Barbados

Statement from the OECS Commission

Chairman of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica, Dr. the Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit, conveyed heartfelt sympathy to the Government and people of Barbados on the recent passing of former leader the Right Honourable Owen Arthur.

The OECS Chairman expressed deep sadness on the sudden passing of his esteemed colleague in a letter penned to Prime Minister Mia Mottley earlier this week:

"Barbados has lost a treasured son who brought it to even higher elevations of respect regionally and who added immeasurably to its treasury of high international esteem. Prime Minister Arthur earned his place in history as the longest serving Prime Minister of Barbados and a passionate advocate of regional integration. Like you, his presence at the Caribbean table helped to energize the regional integration movement and invigorate the effort to accelerate its progress. He was truly seized with the fierce urgency of now," Prime Minister Skerrit stated.

"While we are deeply saddened by his death, we are comforted in the knowledge that his final weeks were spent tirelessly laboring for the causes that he held sacred: the maintenance of the democratic tradition in Our Caribbean in his role as Head of the Commonwealth Observer Mission in the recent Guyana general election and the penultimate battle to save the regional air carrier LIAT as Chairman of its Board of Directors. 

Owen was never one to mince his words which emanated from the fire of his passion and patriotism. While it is said that speaking truth to power takes courage; of Owen we can say that power speaking truth exemplifies leadership. 

There is no doubt that the Rt. Hon. Owen Arthur did not "go gentle into that good night" as he followed the admonishment of the Welsh Poet Dylan Thomas that "old age should burn and rave at the close of day; rage, rage against the passing of the light". 

On behalf of the OECS Authority, and on behalf of the Government of Commonwealth of Dominica, both of whom I have the temporal honour to lead, I extend our deepest condolences to you, the Government and the people of Barbados and to his family our heartfelt sympathy. 

May he rest in Perfect Peace and Live Eternally in the Memory of his People!"

International Relations CARICOM
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The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is an International Organisation dedicated to economic harmonisation and integration, protection of human and legal rights, and the encouragement of good governance among independent and non-independent countries in the Eastern Caribbean. The OECS came into being on June 18th 1981, when seven Eastern Caribbean countries signed a treaty agreeing to cooperate with each other while promoting unity and solidarity among its Members. The Treaty became known as the Treaty of Basseterre, so named in honour of the capital city of St. Kitts and Nevis where it was signed. The OECS today, currently has eleven members, spread across the Eastern Caribbean comprising Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and The Grenadines, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Martinique and Guadeloupe. 

The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
Morne Fortune
Saint Lucia