I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing today of one of the Caribbean’s most treasured scholars, Sir Alister McIntyre, a respected economist, educator, administrator and true champion of regional integration.
This son of Grenada and son of the Caribbean will forever be remembered fondly as one of the Titans of the post Independence Caribbean to whom we owe much.
My association with Sir Alister goes back to my days as a young politician when Sir Henry Forde introduced me to him when we met with The West Indian Commission, which was led by Sir Shridath Ramphal, as they travelled the region consulting with Caribbean peopleto prepare that seminal work, what came to be entitled “A Time for Action”.
It was just two weeks ago today that I last spoke with Sir Alister and his voice was as strong and his thoughts and statements as clear, forthright and balanced as I have always known him to be. I cemented my relationship with him when I interacted with him frequently when I was Minister of Education and he was Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies. I count myself fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn at an early age from my interactions with Sir Alister and many other great Caribbean men and women as we served the region through building the UWI.
The region and the wider hemisphere benefitedimmensely from the depth of thought and analysis that this former economics lecturer, Director of the Institute of Social and Economic Studies of the UWI (since renamed in honour of Sir Arthur Lewis), Secretary General of CARICOM, Deputy Secretary General of UNCTAD, and Assistant Secretary General in the Office of the Director General for International Economic Cooperation at the United Nations brought to the affairs of the people of the Caribbean and the world.
On behalf of the people and Government of Barbados, I express deepest sympathies to Sir Alister’s wife, his children and his grand children, and indeed to his close friends.