Chairman of the Progressive Liberal Party
For Immediate Release
27 July 2020
The Progressive Liberal Party is saddened to learn this morning that former Prime Minister of Barbados The Hon. Owen Arthur has died. This is shocking news. He was a Caribbean statesman extraordinaire.
Mr. Arthur might be remembered for his many visits to The Bahamas to speak to the Bahamian community about the values of CARICOM.
He was well known throughout the region for his passionate belief in the Caribbean civilization and his commitment to the CARICOM project.
This is a great personal loss for me. I could always count on his counsel and the ability to recall some of the more arcane details of CARICOM in my present and past lives. He was a weighty presence at the many meetings which I attended as Foreign Minister on behalf of this country. The Bahamas and Barbados are seated beside one another in most international meetings. He always looked out for The Bahamas and for me at a personal level.
We first met in London when he was Barbados’ Leader of the Opposition; the year was 1994 and later that year he called on me for moral support in a planned vote of no confidence which he tabled in the House to move against the government there. That vote of no confidence ultimately succeeded in forcing a general election. Mr. Arthur subsequently served as Prime Minister for 3 consecutive terms. It was a proud moment for me to stand with him at the Government House in Barbados to watch his first swearing in. We have remained comrades ever since.
I have informed our Leader the Hon. Philip Davis of his passing. In addition, I have spoken to former Prime Minister Perry Christie to inform him, as they shared aspirations for our similar small island developing states and collaborated as colleague Prime Ministers at CARICOM Heads of Government sessions among other leadership settings.
Barbados’ current Prime Minister, the Hon. Mia Mottley – whom Mr. Arthur first made Minister of Education, then Attorney General, then Minister of Economic Affairs, among other significant and broad roles during his tenure – reflects the success of Mr. Arthur in her continuation of the inspired commitment to the CARICOM project that Mr. Arthur sustained in his public life.
On behalf of the Leader of the Progressive Liberal Party Philip Brave Davis and the entire Parliamentary and officer team, I express condolences to Mr. Arthur’s family, the people of Barbados and to Prime Minister Mia Mottley of Barbados on his passing.
The Caribbean has lost a great son.
May he rest in peace.