Tribute By Minister Of Family, Sports, Culture And Youth, The Hon. Stephen Lashley On The Passing Of The Prime Minister, The Late David Thompson
I want firstly on my own behalf, and on behalf of my family to convey sincere sympathy to former Prime Minister David’s widow, Mara, his wonderful daughters and all his family, as we try to come to grips with the tragic loss of the man, who only months ago invited me to join his Cabinet.??
As I write this tribute, I am still en route to Barbados, after cutting short my participation in the first World Ministers of Sport Convention in Acapulco, Mexico, where I learnt of David’s death. The Convention, attended by Ministers of Sports from all over the world, paused to extend to me and the people of Barbados its profound sadness and regret at Prime Minister Thompson’s passing.
I had several discussions with David about his health and on each occasion his response was one of calm hope and confidence that all will be well. Though understanding the gravity of his illness, I really looked forward to him being with us for still some time yet. His death has, therefore, hit me quite hard. I knew David for many years and we talked even before he responded to the call to contest the St. John By-Election upon the sudden death of the late Rt. Excellent Errol Walton Barrow.
He came to our home in Gall Hill and said he thought that I would have been contesting the seat rather than him. As it turned out history was to be written differently.
My parents, Verona and William (both now deceased), my brother Norville in particular, my wife Deborah and my entire family would have wanted me to record for posterity their profound admiration for our former Parliamentary Representative, leader, comrade and friend. The people of St. John will at this time be devastated by his passing, as we had looked forward to the fulfillment of so many wonderful things with David at the centre, steering the ship of state. My family, will forever, remember his words of comfort read by Mara at the funeral service of my mother in November last year. I too am sad that I was not able to say good-bye to him, but perhaps it was his wish that I not remember him in death but in life.
He was a remarkable human being who possessed the qualities of selflessness, determination and a true sense of purpose. In his relaxed moments at lunch during sittings of Parliament, he had so many stories to tell. He was keenly at home and in his element during debates in the House of Assembly and we all looked forward to his timely but potent interventions. At Cabinet, he inspired confidence as our leader and demonstrated immense knowledge of every subject matter. His wisdom often belied his young age.
We have lost a true icon who has made a lasting contribution to the development of our beloved country. His life will be a source of lasting inspiration for me and my family as we continue our journey.
I will miss you PM…
Until….. Stephen Lashley