Ex press sec laid to rest
Former Prime Minister Owen Arthur today paid glowing tribute to the late Victor Hinkson, his former press secretary and personal assistant, who died on July 12, aged 90.
In delivering the eulogy at the funeral at James Street Methodist Church, the City, Arthur described Hinksin as his “soulmate in a very special way”, and one whose life reminds all Barbadians that “in simple people and in simple places, greatness abounds.
“Hinkson’s life further teaches that much is revealed in the lives of ordinary people that can adorn and exceed the accomplishments of the powerful and the great,”Arthur said.
The former Prime Minister recalled that Hinkson’s life was first and foremost about family, and he often spoke movingly about his late mother and father, and his children.
He also recalled that Hinkson was one of those Bank Hall boys who lived on the outskirts of Strathclyde and “saw, and daily lived, with the naked face of racism and discrimination in Barbados in the 1930s and 1940s”.
Like his very close friend, the late Frank Worrell, this helped to shape his character, and made him wish to live a life committed to bringing about change with grace, the Member of Parliament for St Peter said of his former aide.
Arthur said that Hinkson would want to be remembered as a Comberemerian, “one of that band of brothers who see themselves as being a cut above the rest, and who lay claim
to a heritage that they feel should be the quintessence of what the Barbadian way of life should be about”.
He added that Hinkson left his mark on his chosen profession as a journalist in ways that few could match, having covered major political events which shaped the region.
Arthur recalled that Hinkson was the journalist for the Gleaner Newspaper in Jamaica who gave the account of Fidel Castro’s triumphal entry into Havana; he sat with Jamaica’s first Prime Minister Alexander Bustamante on the night of that country’s independence in 1962, and he was the journalist who asked then Trinidad and Tobago leader Eric Williams the question about the West Indies Federation following Jamaica’s withdrawal, and received the answer that one from ten leaves nothing.
He told the congregation that Hinkson also rendered service to the cause of regional integration on matters relating to protocol and communications that made him an icon.
The St Peter MP recalled that he became acquainted with Hinkson after the 1986 general election when the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) was reduced to a mere three members in Parliament. Arthur, who is now an independent member of parliament, contended that no one outside the members of the Parliamentary Group of that time, did more for the BLP in its darkest hour.
He stressed that it was for these reasons that he had no difficulty in appointing Hinkson as his press secretary upon assuming office following the 1994 general election.