By Carlena Knight
“An honest man, teacher, friend and family man” were just a few of the terms used to describe the late former Superintendent of Prisons and Security Advisor, Eric Henry.
News of Henry’s death rocked the nation in the early hours of Wednesday with many, including members of the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda, paying their respects to the former law enforcement official.
One such official was the current Superintendent of Prisons, Jermaine Anthony.
Anthony told Observer that Henry’s impact as head of the prison service was unsurpassed.
“He would have been the father of the modern penitentiary institution that we now have. Mr Henry would have been superintendent here at Her Majesty’s Prison on two separate occasions from 1985 to 1994, and then again from 2007 until 2011,” he said.
“Throughout his tenure, Mr Henry would have had a great impact on a significant percentage of the officers here.
“As a matter of fact, every single officer who would have served under his command during that period would have had some significant impact on their career development throughout the time that they would have been here.
“Even so, after leaving the prison service, Mr Henry was still playing an integral part in the development of our penitentiary institution,” Anthony explained.
He continued that the loss of Henry is significant.
“The entire prison service extends its condolences to the family of Mr Henry. We would have all had some impact on our lives, both professionally and personally, and so it’s not only a great loss for the family as well but for the entire correctional facility.
“We have lost someone who has been dear to us and we also are ourselves in mourning, and so we do hope that the family would accept our condolences,” Anthony said.
Several friends and colleagues also paid their respects to Henry via social media.
Family friend Vince McCoy posted, “RIP to a real patriot and an avid supporter of ABCRE Antiguans and Barbudans for Constitutional Reform and Education. He supported Constitution Corner with his calls and his pocket. One of few persons to come visit dad right after mom transitioned. You have done yeoman service for your country, now take your rest sir. My sincerest condolences to all who mourn him.”
According to reports, the 75-year-old was found in an unresponsive state by a relative in his Liberta home on Tuesday evening and was rushed to the hospital for treatment.
He died around 10pm that night.