Police icon and exemplar Clarke laid to rest

The Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) fraternity today said goodbye to former Senior Superintendent Clyde Evanson Clarke, who had contributed almost 40 years of uninterrupted service to protecting the people of the nation.

Former Senior Superintendent Clyde Evanson Clarke’s casket being taken out of the church by police officers.
Former Senior Superintendent Clyde Evanson Clarke’s casket being taken out of the church by police officers.

At a funeral service held at the St Lucy Parish Church this morning, the well-respected icon of the force was described as a man who used his God-given talents and abilities to become one of the finest police leaders.

Giving the eulogy, Senior Superintendent of Police Eucklyn Thompson said the deceased had achieved through diligence and a voracious appetite for reading and learning the acquisition of much knowledge and experience, including knowledge of the force’s policies and procedures.

“Inspector Clarke was a stickler for discipline, and was quick to deal with poor attitudes and callous responses. This was not done with a loud voice; but you nevertheless knew that he meant business, as evidenced by his change of countenance and demeanour.”

Thompson said there were occasions when Clarke readily made himself available to offer fatherly advice to juniors, and that he was among the many recipients who sat at Clarke’s feet in those formative years.

“Mr Clarke encouraged my generation of officers to improve our professional skills, to pursue greater learning, to be diligent in pursuit of our careers, to spend our monies wisely, to have a bank account, to take care of our families and to adhere to the rules and regulations of the force,” the senior superintendent revealed.

He said Clarke was the one who had informed him of his transfer from Central Police Station to the District “E” Police Station in December,1975, and had encouraged him to go do his best and not return to Bridgetown unless he was promoted.

“It was on the day of his elevation to the rank of superintendent of police on April 1, 1982, that I was able to fulfil his desire for my fledging career, when I too, received my first promotion to the rank of sergeant of police. It was indeed a special occasion for both of us,” Thompson added.

He said Clarke’s final promotion came on July 1, 1984, when he attained the rank of senior superintendent of police, and that to his mind the RBPF had received its greatest contribution from him at this level of his illustrious career.

“I took careful note that Mr Clarke never had an attachment at the highly regarded Criminal Investigation Department [where] most of the promotions in the force were centred.

“Yet, he never wavered in his loyalty, dedication and commitment to the force and, by extension, the people of Barbados . . . ,” Thompson said.

“Clarke’s management of both the Bridgetown and Southern Division was worthy of emulation; and this was exemplified by the many stewardship reports at force conferences in which few questions were asked of him. Thorough and detailed were his presentations.

“The deceased also clearly understood each environment, the demographics, the needs of citizens, the plans applicable to the particular jurisdiction, the manpower and the material resources required, the strengths and skills and competencies he himself  needed to bring to the fore to guarantee success.”

The father of four sons was laid to rest in the churchyard of the St Lucy Parish Church.

Clarence Clarke (at left), the son of former Senior Superintendent  Clyde Evanson Clarke receiving dad’s badge at the graveside.
Clarence Clarke (at left), the son of former Senior Superintendent
Clyde Evanson Clarke receiving dad’s badge at the graveside.
Former Senior Superintendent Clyde Evanson Clarke’s sons  Orlando (sitting at left) and Bradson Clarke.
Former Senior Superintendent Clyde Evanson Clarke’s sons
Orlando (sitting at left) and Bradson Clarke.
Dr John Clarke (at left), the youngest son of former Senior Superintendent Clyde Evanson Clarke accepting the National Flag from Acting Deputy Commissioner Oral Williams.
Dr John Clarke (at left), the youngest son of former Senior Superintendent Clyde Evanson Clarke accepting the National Flag from Acting Deputy Commissioner Oral Williams.

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