By Kadeem Joseph
Trade unionist icon Robert ‘Robin’ Bascus Sr died yesterday at the age of 86, just days shy of his next birthday, which would have been celebrated on January 18.
His son, Robert ‘Robin’ Bascus Jr, confirmed that he passed away between 5.30am and 6am, noting that his father had suffered with the neurodegenerative disease, Alzheimer’s, for the last three to four years.
“It was heart-breaking for me. My father was a really independent man, a man who has contributed so much to this country,” Robin Jr said.
The senior Bascus also received a national award for his contributions to Antigua and Barbuda in many fields.
“When I used to live at [Antigua Sugar Factory] with my father, they used to come and rap on the door and daddy used to give them advice and call up people and them that you can’t treat these people [workers] like that,” he explained in chronicling his father’s contributions to the struggles of employers.
Robin Jr also said that his father was a great influence for the late Leonard Tim Hector, who was a prolific writer and revered social and political activist.
“He was also instrumental in getting the first Test match in Antigua here,” he said.
The deceased had been an avid sports lover and played the centre forward position for the national football team, the Atomics.
While the late Bascus also served as a senator, his son said he was a very private person.
Robin Jr also indicated that the government has announced an official funeral for the former general secretary of the Antigua Trades and Labour Union, who also served as the editor of the Workers Voice publication at one point.
He also noted that his father had been a member of the committee responsible for drafting the Constitution of Antigua and Barbuda.
The elder Bascus also leaves behind 11 children, among other family members and loved ones to mourn his passing.