Can’t be ignored
Love him or hate him the former Minister of Finance, who died recently, could not be ignored, and Prime Minister Freundel Stuart said “there are so many lessons to be learnt from so distinguished and so action packed a life”.
Stuart was leading off tributes in the House of Assembly to Sir Richard, who controversially left the Democratic Labour Party and formed the short-lived National Democratic Party while representing St. Michael South Central in the Lower House.
“The life of Richie Haynes would have been wasted or would be wasted if we don’t distill from that life the lessons which he so determinedly taught all of us. For Richie Haynes politics was not a spectator sport, he took politics very, very seriously, whether it be politics at the national level or politics at the constituency level,” Stuart said.
“He never asked any quarter and he never gave any quarter. For Richie Haynes politics was a matter of conviction and when there were things which he thought he could not sincerely espouse he made decisions based on conscience and also of course on respect for his personal mandate.
“You may not agree with him all the time, I certainly did not agree with him all the time, but you had to respect him because he followed where his convictions led and he was that kind of politician … who excited either intense affection or intense opposition, but the one thing you had to be sure about you could not ignore Richie Haynes, you had to acknowledge he was there.
“So I think that he has left his own unique legacy in the politics of Barbados… His life enriched us for as long as it lasted. Death now leaves desolate that portion of our landscape which he so proudly, so uniquely, and so gracefully occupied,” he added.
The St. Michael South MP said no one could deny that Sir Richard’s contribution was massive, noting “he was so renowned and so highly esteemed a doctor that his skills attracted even the attention of royalty”.
Stuart noted, however, that it was in politics that his former colleague really made his mark after being virtually “summoned” to politics by the masses here.
“I have been around politics for a little while in Barbados and followed it form the time I was in single digits and I don’t know of many politicians who came to public life, who came to electoral politics, essentially summoned there, invited there, by the masses of the people of Barbados,” he said, noting that late Prime Minister David Thompson was the only other person in his lifetime he could remember being similarly called by the public.
“Richie Haynes was expected to entire politics, was basically invited into politics and of course for as long as he was in politics attracted the attention of the people of this country.”
Stuart said Sir Richard emerged as “the answer to Tom Adams” in many people’s minds during his era, and that while he never becomes Prime Minister he formed a enviable triumvirate with former Prime Minister Sir Lloyd Sandiford, and former Minister of Health Sir Brandford Taitt. (SC)