The nation reflected on the life and times of Barbudan statesman Sir Thomas Hilbourne McChesney Frank, who was laid to rest in his homeland yesterday morning.
While maintaining social distancing and other protocols, family members, politicians, wellwishers, and residents of the sister isle said their goodbyes during the funeral service, which was held at the Millenium Building.
While paying tribute, Sir Hilbourne’s daughter, Jacqueline Frank, tearfully remembered her father as someone who “never missed an opportunity to educate and he was always a disciplinarian, but a fair one and he believed in justice”.
Member of Parliament for Barbuda, Trevor Walker, who also spoke during the brief ceremony, said that, “Sir Hilbourne Frank paved a way of nobility for Barbudans; his passion and steadfast leadership were profound and immeasurable”.
Walker remembered Sir Hilbourne as one who served Barbuda for 50 years and, during his tenure as leader, he led with humility and always stood by his people.
“The people were the background of his political career, he never left us behind … your contribution to nation building will always be remembered,” Walker said.
“Hilbourne Frank was one of the leaders on Barbuda who fought for greater autonomy of the island,” shared Lynton Thomas, who served in the Barbuda’s People Movement alongside the deceased. “He always said Barbuda is for Barbudans.”
Sir Hilbourne, who was born on December 6, 1931, graduated from the Antigua Grammar School in 1950, then taught at his alma mater and the Holy Trinity School from 1950 to 1960.
He was one of the founding members of the Barbuda People’s Movement and served as its political leader for many years. His primary objective was to make sure that the lands of Barbuda remained for the people of Barbuda. He later served on the Barbuda Council from 1979 to 1985 and 1989 to 1997, and was knighted in 2004.
A talented electrician, teacher, natural leader and family man, Sir Hilbourne served his country and community selflessly.
He died on March 29.