Sir Roy pays tribute
Veteran trade unionist Sir Roy Trotman has lauded the late Sir Harcourt Lewis for his “significant roles” in the trade union and credit union movements.
Sir Roy –– an Independent Senator and former General Secretary of the Barbados Workers’ Union –– credited the former President of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) for bringing order to the organization and giving it an identity, focus and direction.
“For this contribution the labour movement wishes to thank him,” Sir Roy said.
“Sir Harcourt was one who distinguished himself in his contributions, not only to the National Union of Public Workers, but to workers throughout Barbados and to workers throughout the Caribbean as well. Sir Harcourt, in his quite inimitable manner, was able to see what had to be done and to ensure that he contributed to the full extent of his capacity to making sure that that task was done.”
The ex-BWU boss told his colleague legislators that it was through Sir Harcourt’s effort that the Barbados Workers Union and the then Civil Service Association were able to build a strong working relationship.
Focusing on Sir Harcourt’s contribution to the credit union movement, Sir Roy said he was “a colossus”.
“We all admired the significant vision that Sir Harcourt showed in this field of endeavour. We have been pleased by the passion he exercised and we were pleased with the order that he brought to the work that he was doing. The respect which the credit unions have had over the years is due in no small measure to the work which was done by people like Sir Harcourt in bringing transparency and order and business like attitude to the work the credit union was doing,” he pointed out.
“Credit unions, as you know, were hit or miss institutions over a period of time and as [much] as we can cite the great things that were done, there are equally as many instances of cloudy sessions that sometimes overwhelmed all of us who were members of credit unions [and] sous-sous . . .” Sir Roy said.
He recalled that even though several people believed that Sir Harcourt had been given a “poisoned chalice” when he was appointed president of the Barbados National Bank by Prime Minister Tom Adams, he made it a success story.
Sir Roy further pointed out that during the 1991 to 1994 period, the former Cabinet minister worked with the trade union movement to ensure that the country emerged from the economic turbulence of the time into a vibrant society.