Story and photos by Carlena Knight
Family members, friends, former and present Cabinet and Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) members were all in attendance yesterday as the lone public hospital, the Mount St John’s Medical Centre (MSJMC), was renamed after national hero Sir Lester Bird and will now be called the Sir Lester Bird Mount St John’s Medical Centre.
The ceremony – which was held at the hospital’s quadrangle – saw feature addresses given by Governor General Sir Rodney Williams, Prime Minister Gaston Browne and Health Minister Sir Molwyn Joseph.
Sir Rodney described the day as a “significant milestone in the history of our nation” while Sir Molwyn who served under Sir Lester commended his leadership.
Sir Molwyn also addressed the comments made by those in opposition over the renaming of the hospital.
“If we can name Holberton off of someone that made no contribution then we can rename MSJMC after someone who has done so much for this country. It is time for us to honour our own,” he added.
Meanwhile, PM Browne spoke of his delight to be a part of history as the ABLP also celebrated 75 years of existence yesterday. PM Browne went on to commend Sir Lester for his courage and conviction, stating that the second PM of the country had “made the second largest socioeconomic contribution to this country”.
Sir Lester’s daughter Donyelle Bird accepted the accolade on behalf of her father.