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!"