Paying their respects

by Neville Clarke

Boyhood friends of Sir Branford, Gerry Hinkson (left) and Elsworth Young (right) reflect on the life of their departed friend
Boyhood friends of Sir Branford, Gerry Hinkson (left) and Elsworth Young (right) reflect on the life of their departed friend

Admiration and respect for the late Sir Branford Taitt cut across the political divide today when parliamentary representative for St. Michael South East, Santia Bradshaw and her father, former parlimentarian, Delise Bradshaw, joined hundreds of Barbadians who filed past his body at the Democratic Labour Party headquarters on George Street, St. Michael.

Shortly after arriving at the DLP headquarters, the newly elected parliamentary representative was warmly embraced by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart who stood in the yard chatting with several members of the public.

Stuart also warmly welcomed Delise Bradshaw, who ran on a DLP ticket in the 1999 general election in the same constituency, but was defeated by incumbent, Hamilton Lashley.

Several leading members of the society and boyhood friends of the late Sir Branford braved the mid-afternoon sun to pay their last respects to one of Barbados’ leading sons.

Among the hundreds who turned up were Cabinet members, Chris Sinckler, Dr. David Estwick, Senator Maxine McClean and Patrick Todd; Speaker of the House of Assembly, Michael Carrington; Roman Catholic cleric, Monsignor Vincent Blackett, who was seen comforting several members of Sir Branford’s family; former Cabinet member, Sir Harcourt Lewis; chairman of LIAT, Jean Holder and his wife Norma Holder.

Also paying respects were recently appointed independent Senator and long-standing friend of Sir Branford, Tony Mrashall; school friend and former Spartans wicketkeeper/batsman, Gerry Hinkson; retired permanent secretary and boyhood friend of Sir Branford, Elsworth Young; party stalwarts, Maisie Barker-Welch and Marjorie Lashley; friend Muhammad Nassar and former President of the Barbados Manufacturers Association, Frank daSilva.

Speaking to Barbados TODAY, Hinkson recalled that he and Sir Branford were in Set A at Combermere School, adding that while he played cricket, Sir Branford was a goalkeeper for his set.

Nassar said: “Sir Branford was one of my genuine and longstanding friends. He did a lot for the black business community when we entered business in the 1960s. He made a great contribution to the development of the country during the 1960s and 1980s.”

In lauding his contribution to the development of manufacturing, former president of the BMA, daSilva noted that it was during his tenure as Minister of Trade that manufacturing surged during the 1970s and 1980s and added that Sir Branford deserves the title of the father of manufacturing in Barbados.

Senator Marshall described Sir Branford as a man of excellence in all respects. Marshall recalled that during his tenure as Consul General in New York he was seen as the “prince of Brooklyn”.

Meanwhile, Young recalled that during his interventions at CARICOM meetings he made him proud as a Barbadian, Combermarian and as a “Tudor Bridger”. †††††

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