Henderson Simon dies, friends pay tribute

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At the age of 74, two-time Member of Parliament, educator, businessman and well-known civil engineer Henderson Simon has died.

Close friends confirmed that he passed away yesterday morning in Barbados, days after undergoing a medical procedure.

As a parliamentarian, Simon represented St. John’s City West for two terms during the tenure of the Antigua Labour Party. This was from 1984 to 1994.

 Sir Lester Bird, a very close friend and former Cabinet colleague of Simon, spoke of his political life.

“Hendy Simon was our Labour Party representative that defeated the person in Point, Donald Halstead, who as you know was considered one of the impregnable persons who could not be beaten, and Hendy Simon did the job of beating Donald Halstead. Every Antiguan of a certain age would tell you, because that was almost a miracle and he was there and he did it for two consecutive terms,” Sir Lester said.

The former two-term prime minister said Simon gave him confidence and encouraged him over the years, especially when it came to elections.

He also said Simon was a very hard worker and true friend. The retired former PM expressed condolences to Simon’s family and other friends, while indicating this week must have been really tough for them since Simon died the same week his wife was buried in the United States.

“If we had more Antiguans like him, this country would be a better place. It is a sad day in Antigua and Barbuda that Hendy Simon has passed away. I wish all the family and every member and every friend and B.T. Lewis, who was his friend and partner, condolences,” he said.

Other friends of the late Henderson Simon – such as B.T. Lewis, Stacy Samuel and Petra Williams – described him as a passionate patriot who paved the way for many residents to attend university.

Simon was said to have taught hundreds, if not thousands, of residents Mathematics, Science, English and Engineering, and he had a great appreciation for music.

He was also said to have been very instrumental in securing jobs for many people in his constituency, and was very well known for opening feeding programmes at Villa Primary School and the St. Andrew’s Church. He also opened his kitchen to many over the years.

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