By Shermain Bique-Charles
Lincoln Jefferson Burton was a husband, father, grandfather and a man who many called a great Barbudan because of his contribution towards the development of the sister isle.
Burton, a former Barbuda Council member, died suddenly on December 16, 2020 after he complained of feeling unwell.
His son, Courtney Burton, said his father’s death was “shocking”, even though his family knew he was suffering from chronic non-communicable diseases.
“He suffered from hypertension and diabetes but his death was shocking and pretty sudden,” he admitted.
While remembering the man who shared his smile with loved ones, as well as strangers, Courtney told Observer, that his father’s death came at time when he should have been his happiest.
“The previous weekend I got married to my lovely wife. He was supposed to come for the wedding but he called me and told he was feeling unwell. Some time Monday I was at work and they told me the ambulance came for him. They told me he was vomiting and that was that,” he recalled.
Although his entire family is grieving, Courtney looked back on happier memories, including how much his father enjoyed working for the love of country.
“He was always jovial and tried to see the bright side of anything. From the time I knew my dad he was always an ambitious man, always involved in business, politics. He also was a true Barbudan. He always loved Barbuda and wanted to see it develop in a way that benefited Barbudans,” he said.
While he served as the Chairman of the Health Committee on the Barbuda Council, Burton was instrumental in ensuring the Hanna Thomas Hospital remained open 24 hours, according to his son.
“The hospital in Barbuda would shut down at 2 pm. It operated just like any government offices. It wasn’t opened 24 hours and that was one of the fights my father had. He ensured that it was opened 24 hours and he should be praised for the strides that he made,” he said.
Courtney recalled his childhood days where his father would ensure the entire household was up by 5 am.
“He wasn’t for this sleeping in bed thing. He would wake us up 5 am and we had to take care of the pigs before we went to school,” he said.
Burton was also involved in the exportation of lobsters for over 40 years. He was the husband of Lilrose Burton, and father to ninechildren — seven sons and two daughters.