Minister of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy, Kirk Humphrey, has expressed sorrow at the passing of fish vendor, Rita Harris.
The 74-year-old woman succumbed to injuries sustained in yesterday’s freak accident involving a motor car at Berinda Cox Fish Market, Oistins, Christ Church. 63-year-old Dorothy Hall of Sayes Court, Christ Church, was also hurt in the accident.
During a visit to the market this morning, Minister Humphrey offered words of comfort to Harris’ colleagues, stating that he could only imagine how traumatic the experience was, particularly for those who witnessed the incident.
“This is a tragedy by any measure. When I heard the news, it brought tears to my eyes, because I know most of you. I know now, having spoken to many of you, that some of you actually saw the incident and I can only begin to comprehend the magnitude of what you have to carry …. I understand some children were in the market, as well,” he said, while extending condolences to Harris’ family, friends and colleagues.
Minister Humphrey gave the assurance that his Ministry would support the vendors during this difficult period, and encouraged them to make use of the counselling services provided.
He also disclosed that his Ministry was considering a suggestion to install a barricade in the area between the carpark and the vending area, stating: “I promise you this is something we will look into. You see these things, unfortunately, after these things occur.”
In addition, the Maritime Affairs Minister said: “I want to continue to offer, on behalf of the Ministry, my fullest support to Oistins and all of the vendors in Barbados.”
Counsellor with Network Services, Alexander Daniel, was part of the small team which accompanied Mr. Humphrey on the visit.
He encouraged the vendors to express their grief, adding that it was “normal” to experience various emotions, including anger.
“Let your friends and people here know how you are feeling. Just be open. Share it. There are some of you that might not say anything, but in your silence you are also healing …. This is very traumatic …, that sudden death, you never expected that. Remember, it will take time. It won’t heal immediately, but what’s important is to share with each other,” Mr. Daniel advised.
Bishop Earl Walton of the Mount Moriah Church, the church where Ms. Harris worshipped, was also on hand to provide counselling.