Inniss: Sir Branford led by example
Barbados has lost an outstanding citizen, and the Democratic Labour Party a stalwart, with the passing of former President of the Senate, Sir Branford Taitt.
The former minister of health, who died this morning, was saluted by the current holder of that portfolio, Donville Inniss, who remembered his predecessor’s contribution to the country during an interview with Barbados TODAY.
He called the island’s first Consul General to New York and former mentor “a minister of health par excellence” and advocate for the marginalised in society.
“It is with sadness that we recogniae the passing of Sir Branford Mayhew Taitt this morning. Sir Branford was indeed an outstanding son of the soil, who worked tirelessly without fear or favour on behalf of the Government and people of Barbados abroad as well as at home,” Inniss said.
“He made a great contribution to the lives of Barbadians in the Diaspora and New York in particular, and also he will be remembered for his work as a minister in the areas of trade and industry back in the 1970s with the oil crisis and many other trade issues that surfaced. Sir Branford was certainly a strong voice at the national and regional level on this matters.”
But the DLP candidate said Sir Branford was “perhaps best known today for his work with the health sector”.
“Certainly as minister of health Sir Branford would have facilitated the expansion of the range of clinical services available not only within the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, but also the wider public health care system,” he said.
“He would have been able to bring some new technologies and skills to the table, additional plant and equipment for Black Rock Polyclinic, he certainly had a vision for health care and worked tirelessly.”
Inniss said it was therefore “with a great sense of pride that just two years ago we were able to name the Black Rock polyclinic after him, it is now called the Branford Taitt polyclinic and that was a small token of appreciation for the work he had done, not just in that particular constituency, but at the national level in terms of health care reform”.
“There was no hesitation whatsoever to naming that place after Sir Branford and I am very happy that we were able to do it while he was still with us, and while he fully recognised what was being done on his behalf,” he stated.
The Cabinet member said Sir Branford, who managed a successful DLP general election campaign in 2008, was a success in whatever he did “because of his love, care and compassion for those in the society”, and that he mentored several members of the current DLP administration.
“I also recognise and remember Brandford Taitt the politician, as one of our stalwarts and leading members of the Democratic Labour Party when I joined the party,” he said.
“It was always such a joy for youngsters like David Thompson, myself and several others of us Young Democrats to sit and listen to Sir Branford, to be guided by him and even to engage in some of the more robust discussions about political matters with him.
“I well remember he was a man who if you differed with him he did not take offense to it, he actually encouraged you to speak your mind and to challenge him. He also gave us great guidance in terms of writing, speaking on political matters. So he was certainly a mentor to many of us in the Young Democrats as well as one who was known as a motivator in this society.”
“He was given a chance to make a contribution, he did not shirk his responsibilities, he worked hard and well on behalf of the people of Barbados.
“So on behalf of the Minsitry of Health I would like to express my deepest sympathies to his wife, to his children and family,” Inniss added. (SC)