Baldwin Spencer, a former leader of the United Progressive Party, and Gaston Browne, the prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda, have joined the chorus of people paying tribute to Donald “D.C.” Christian who passed away on March 30.
Christian, a former member of parliament for the St. John’s Rural West constituency, died at the age of 84 while receiving care at the Mount St. John’s Medical Centre.
Spencer, who defeated Christian on the United National Democratic Party (UNDP) ticket in the early 1990s, said the former MP was held in high esteem.
“He was highly respected among young and old in the community and so we used to call him Sir Don. He was revered, he was looked up to, you could meet him on the corner at Christian Street and if you needed a letter drafted or a reference, you could go to him for help,” he said.
Spencer, a two-term prime minister, added that in spite of the political difference, Christian was willing to assist the people of his constituency without prejudice.
“In his post-politics years, he ran a shop on Martin’s Street and I’m pretty sure he didn’t make a cent because everybody that came and wanted this or that … he would just give the stuff to them. He was a totally committed person who felt that the uptown people were certainly not better than us and he tried to live out that in what he did and what he was involved in,” Spencer added.
Christian was the member of parliament for St. John’s Rural West for 13 years between 1976 and 1989. He represented the Antigua Barbuda Labour Party.
He took the seat from Selvyn Walter of the Progressive Labour Movement in 1976 and in 1989. Meanwhile, prime minister Browne expressed sympathies to the bereaved. He described Christian as a man of integrity who cared dearly for the development of the people of his community.
“He is someone who served with integrity. He was a product of the Gray’s Green community and there was no doubt about his commitment to the people of that area and the self-service he would have given during the period of his representation. We are sorry to learn of his death,” Browne said.
Gail Christian, a senator, added that her uncle was an honest and humble man of strong character.