3 June 2021
I am honoured to have been asked to write this tribute to the late Donald Symonette. He was a resident of the Eastwood neighbourhood in the Fox Hill constituency. I was proud to have been his representative even though we were not on the same side. He always treated me with the utmost respect. He was a man of principles which superseded any political divide.
As I thought about what I would say, the words of the hymn “O Perfect Love” came to mind. The writer of that hymn spoke of “ quiet brave endurance”. That is how I remember our late brother.
He was a trade union leader but given his retiring demeanour, you would not have thought that this was someone born to leadership. But it is clear that he came to it naturally. He was able time and time again to rally the troops to the cause. He was formidable in that regard.
From his role as trade unionist it was natural for him to morph into the position of Director of Labour where he served with distinction. He understood the role of the Director of Labour in bringing peace and quiet to the workplace and how that would cause national productivity to grow.
Our country owes a debt of gratitude to Donald Symonette for his quiet brave endurance, for his contribution to our national life and for doing the things that make for peace and building up the common life.
I know that the people of St Ann’s congregation will miss him and I know that the people of the Eastwood community and the wider Bahamas know that we have lost a beloved son.
Rest in peace.