Dear friend gone too soon
Leader of the Opposition
The people of Barbados have lost a true patriot and a champion of democracy, the medical profession has lost an inspirational pioneer, and I have lost a dear friend and trusted mentor.
In the ruthlessly adversarial and bruising atmosphere of partisan politics in Barbados, Richie Haynes stood apart. He was a selfless politician for whom integrity, transparency and respect for the principles of good governance were paramount, and never worth sacrificing on the altar of power and personal ambition.
Throughout his political career Richie was a courageous and uncompromising defender of the national interest and a deep and thoughtful exponent of policies that would strengthen the development process and enhance the quality of life of all Barbadians.
For them he was the authentic voice of conscience, a proponent of the politics of ideas not of pointless partisan confrontation, a creator of space for alternative views to be heard and respected.
In his medical career Richie Haynes served his country with equal distinction, and made an enduring contribution to the effective delivery of health care in Barbados, and to the modernisation of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Such was the respect he commanded in his field that he was entrusted with the responsibility of chairing the QEH Commission, and setting a development strategy to move the hospital into the Twenty First Century.
For me personally, Richie was a source of inspiration, a gentleman and a gentle man to whom I knew I could always turn for advice, even in the most difficult of times and in spite of our being in Parliament on different sides.
He was a deep thinker, whose vision for the transformation of the institutions and structures of our governance remains tellingly relevant in today’s rudderless and dispirited Barbados.
The loss of Richie Haynes is for me, the loss of a member of my family. I pray that God will comfort Carol, Richard, Kashka and grandchildren and that the memories of this unique statesman, husband and father, and the love and support of all who knew and treasured him will sustain them in the long days ahead.
Richie will forever live in my memory.