Gov’t officials pay tribute to former UWI Vice Chancellor

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Officials in Antigua and Barbuda have joined others in the region in paying tribute to the late Sir Alister McIntyre who died on Saturday at the age of 87.

Chief of Staff in the Office of the Prime Minister, Lionel “Max” Hurst, called the former CARICOM Secretary General and UWI Vice Chancellor another “giant” for the promotion of regional integration.

“Sir Alister McIntyre was very much a Caribbean man, even though he was born in Grenada. Clearly he had in mind for the entire region that V.C. Bird, Eric Williams, Forbes Burnham and Errol Barrow had in mind when they established CARIFTA,” he said.

Hurst stated that the region will miss Sir Alister’s skills and knowledge in promoting regional development.

“These kinds of sons and daughters do not appear with regularity during a single lifetime. We applaud him for using his skills, intelligence and leadership in making a better Caribbean,” he said.

Meanwhile, Senior Advisor within Office of the Prime Minister, Ambassador Colin Murdoch, also spoke highly of Sir Alister.

“He was a towering intellect, putting that intellect to the service of Caribbean people. I have seen him in action at CARICOM Heads of Government Meetings, and this was a man who was a true integrationist,” Murdoch said.

Born in St. Georges, Grenada, Sir Alister was one of the most distinguished scholars in development and regional integration.

The former UWI Vice Chancellor was one of a three-member team appointed by CARICOM Heads of Government in 1990 that produced a report on regional integration called “A Time for Action”. This report resulted in the creation of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas in 2001 and the establishment of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME).

According to his CARICOM profile, Sir Alister was considered one of the great social thinkers of his time, piloting the movement for integration as Secretary-General of CARICOM from 1974 to 1977, and as Vice Chairman of the West Indian Commission.

Other Caribbean leaders – such as Jamaica’s Andrew Holness, Barbados’ Mia Mottley and current UWI Vice Chancellor Sir Hilary Beckles – have been vivacious in their praise of the Grenadian.

Sir Hilary stated his belief that the University of the West Indies “will not be impoverished by his transition because the phenomenal richness of his contributions to their growth and transformation will continue to yield development dividends deep into the future”.

Additionally, fellow regional giant Sir Shridath Ramphal said Sir Alister’s passing meant “a precious light has gone out in our Caribbean world.”

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