Friends and colleagues pay tribute to late prominent businessman and diplomat, Sir Ramez Hadeed

The late Sir Ramez Hadeed, KGCN KCN (file photo).
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By Charminae George

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Many Antiguans and Barbudans who knew Sir Ramez Hadeed have shared glowing tribute in memory of the prominent businessman and diplomat, whose death has plunged the nation into mourning.

Sir Ramez passed away on Thursday, December 7th, hours after he was rushed to hospital after suffering a heart attack the day prior.

Former government minister Dr Jacqui Quinn, a friend of Sir Ramez, spoke of his great compassion and his desire to see the country’s youth excel.

“He loved his country and worked hard for its development and progress. He believed in higher education for young people and was integrally involved in my own education from the Undergraduate to Doctoral levels,” Dr Quinn told Observer yesterday.

She mentioned Sir Ramez’s excellence in the field of diplomacy and his tenure under consecutive government administrations.

“As a diplomat, he was measured, calm, well-read and knowledgeable of the geo-political climate and was a skilled negotiator. I think it speaks volumes that he served under four different administrations with four different prime ministers,” the former government minister added.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne echoed similar sentiments on the diplomat’s contributions to Antigua and Barbuda over the years.

“Sir Ramez Hadeed’s contribution to nation building in the areas of business, diplomacy and politics was significant. He served as our country’s longest serving Ambassador, since Independence in 1981 and was a regular member of our annual UN delegation,” he said in a press release.

Meanwhile, Eustace Gonsalves, the former General Manager of the Finance and Development Company Ltd, described the company’s former chairman as being people-focussed.

“He was a people’s person. His main focus was to assist people, especially the ordinary man…[and] he always made time to speak with whoever came to see him,” Gonsalves shared.

He reiterated that Sir Ramez was committed to help residents to access finance at the institution.

“When I was hired, I was told to look after the ordinary person, take care of them,” the former general manager of 34 years stated.

E P Chet Greene, Foreign Affairs Minister, contributed an account of the years he worked with Sir Ramez.

“I had the opportunity to work closely with Sir Ramez and witnessed first-hand his dedication, passion, and commitment to Antigua and Barbuda’s interests,” he stated in a press release.

“He was indeed a great diplomat who served our country with distinction for many decades, contributing to many areas of our economic development,” Greene added.

During his 40 years as a diplomat, Sir Ramez served as ambassador to countries such as Syria, United Arab Republic, Republic of Iraq, United Arab Emirates, and the United Mexican States.

Since his appointment as ambassador in 1981, his diplomatic career spanned over the tenure of former prime ministers, Sir VC Bird, Sir Lester Bird, Hon Baldwin Spencer and continued under current Prime Minister, Gaston Browne.

On December 1, he was officially awarded Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of the Nation (KGCN) in an investiture ceremony held at Government House. This was in recognition for his contributions to diplomacy, community service and nation building.

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