I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Elvis Newton-an outstanding public servant and a most principled and decent human being. My tenure as prime minister was significantly enhanced by the competence and professionalism of Elvis Newton, and our nation bore witness to the dedication with which he unstintingly brought these same gifts to the current government as well.
Throughout his career Elvis was guided by a steadfast commitment to country and we are all-as a people and a nation-left considerably poorer as a result of his death.
My heart is indeed heavy at this moment.
I shall forever cherish the memory of his service to our country and on behalf of SKNLP-and on my own behalf-I extend heartfelt condolences to all who loved him.
I ask therefore that we as a nation pause for a moment to remember him.
Let us remember Elvis as a unique reliable hardworking and dedicated civil servant first serving as Teacher, rising through the ranks to Permanent Secretary to several ministers in several ministries and Departments eg Health and Social Services; Foreign Affairs, Homeland Security, Immigration and Labour; and National Security; and finally serving as head of the Public Service for the last two and a half years.
Let us remember Elvis for always putting his country above self, so selflessly demonstrated only a few months ago as he faithfully carried out his public duties in transitioning the government of SKN from one Administration to the next, though painfully distressing and stressful it must have been.
Yet he rose to the occasion like a giant as he faithfully served the country under this new Administration even at the risk of his own relapse after he had recovered so remarkably well in remission of his illness.
Let us remember Elvis as head of his family household-dear husband to his dearest Ermel; father to his youthful daughter who just completed undergrad studies and starting post grad studies, and son who is about to commence undergrad studies; and let us remember him as Brother, Uncle and Cousin to the members of his extended family.
Let us all remember them in our prayers.
Finally let us remember Elvis as a God-fearing human being with principles; and conscientiously serving his God through faithful and loyal service to his church, affiliated Organizations-political and otherwise-his community and his fellowmen at work, at home and abroad.
May the soul of Elvis Newton-loyal dedicated and outstanding public servant-rest in peace.
Rt Hon Dr Denzil L Douglas