ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Tributes continued to flow yesterday for former Member of Parliament Sir Adolphus Freeland, a man described as a consummate statesman, sportsman and trade unionist.
Sir Adolphus died at Mount St John’s Medical Centre (MSJMC) at 5:10 am Saturday morning after a brief period of illness.
Many people reflected, over the weekend, on the life and times of the 79 year old. Among them were his son, Michael Freeland, Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer and the hierarchy of the Antigua Labour Party (ALP).
The younger Freeland said his father was a “helpful and thoughtful individual.”
“He did not care what colour you were. Once you (were) Antiguan & Barbudan contributing to the economic survival of this country, he would have an ear for you, and would have gone through lengths to assist you,” Freeland said.
Prime Minister Spencer described the late parliamentarian as a consummate professional.
“Adolphus was a man for all people. He has served his constituents and the people of Antigua & Barbuda with distinction. He was truly a distinguished son of Antigua & Barbuda and our nation has lost a patriotic son of the highest order,” Spencer said.
Sir Adolphus is recognised as the longest-serving ALP minister and representative for St George. He served as minister of Labour, Home Affairs, Health and Housing from 1976 to 1999 when he retired from active politics.
Sir Freeland’s political career began in 1968 after the riots in March that year as a result of the historical split between Sir George H Walter and Sir VC Bird, when he committed to the Antigua Trades & Labour Union (AT&LU).
He became general secretary of the union in 1968 and held the position until 1976, making him the longest serving general secretary in the history of the AT&LU.
Sir Adolphus leaves to mourn six children, 14 grandchildren, and seven great grandchildren.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)