By: St. Clair Sazam Hull
(CHARLESTOWN NEVIS)-One year ago today, May 27, 2013 the island of Nevis lost a political giant when Dr. Simeon Daniel, first premier of Nevis passed away at his home at Braziers Estate, Nevis, at the age of 77 after struggling with a long illness.
Dr. Daniel was born on August 22, 1934 in the village of Barnes Ghaut. In his formative years He was educated at the St. Thomas Primary School. From humble beginnings; he evolved into a protuberant attorney, leader, and a man that came to dominate the political landscape of Nevis.
Daniel rose to prominence in 1980 when his Nevis Reformation Party, (NRP) in Nevis formed a coalition government with the People’s Action Movement, (PAM) in St. Kitts in order to oust the ruling Labour Party out of office.
In 1983, Simeon Daniel became the first premier of Nevis. This resulted from the twin islands of St. Kitts and Nevis obtaining political independence from Britain. Dr. Daniel was one of the prime framers of the St. Kitts-Nevis Constitution which also allows independence for Nevis through Clause 113. Daniel held the position of first premier of Nevis until1992.
On the day of the funeral June 5, 2012 Dr. Daniel’s body was taken to the High Court in Charlestown to lie in repose. His family entered the court behind the casket and a sea of people waited in line to pay their last respects to this remarkable man. People gathered on both sides of the main road in Charlestown, looking on as the hearse passed on its way to Daniel final resting place.
On the sunny Tuesday afternoon the Anglican Church in St. Thomas Parish was the venue for the funeral service and his body was laid to rest in the church yard.
Former Parliamentarian Mr. Victor Jay Martin delivered the eulogy. Martin pointed out that for Dr. Daniel politics was more than elections. His politics was about helping people regardless of their background and political allegiances. In closing, Martin indicated that Dr. Daniel should be given consideration to be named as the next national hero of St. Kitts and Nevis.