Prime Minister of Barbados David Thompson dies at age 48

Monday, October 25, 2010

A photo of David Thompson
Image: Edgar Alberto Domínguez Cataño.

The Bajan Prime Minister David Thompson, 48, died this morning at 2:10 am local time after battling pancreatic cancer. It has been reported that his wife, Mara, and their three children were at his bedside when he died. Hours after his death, Deputy Prime Minister Freundel Stuart was sworn in as the island's new Prime Minister.

Thompson was best known for restoring the island's Democratic Labor Party back to parliamentary majority, decentralizing government, strengthening social services and improving the Barbadian economy according to the island's government. His wife was quoted as saying, "Barbados has lost its loyal son and faithful servant before he had the time to realize his lifetime dreams. ... We enjoyed and endured his public service experiences. He was always indebted to the people and the party for affording him the opportunity to see the mountain top" to the Caribbean Broadcasting Cooperation (CBC).

The opposition leader of Barbados was quoted as saying, "There will be times in the life of a nation when circumstances or events have the power to bring out the best in us all. This is one such time."

A day of incredible sadness for Barbados and the member-states of the Caribbean Community

—St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas

The Prime Minister of Jamaica and the chair of CARICOM, Bruce Golding, has said that he is deeply saddened by the news and was quoted as saying, "The Caribbean has lost one of its youngest and most vibrant leaders who remained strong, determined and focused to the very end." Golding also commended Thompson for fighting "a brave fight to the very end demonstrating the unconditional love for his country and a commitment to the people of Barbados."

The opposition leader of Barbados, Owen Arthur, is calling the death a "tragic and staggering loss" and described Thompson as "one of the most remarkable Barbadians of his generation and whose whole life from very early was devoted to public service and politics." The Bahamian Prime Minister, Hubert Ingraham, said that he was "deeply saddened" at the loss of his "friend and colleague."

The Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Kamla Persad Bissessar, has issued her "deepest condolences" on behalf of her administration and the people of Trinidad.

[He] wanted an opportunity to shape the future of his country, to make a difference to the lives of Barbadians.

St. Lucia Opposition Leader, Dr. Kenny Anthony