Former PM Arthur remembers Sir Clifford

The late Sir Clifford Husbands possessed qualities and characteristics that that all Barbadians would do well to have.

So says Former Prime Minister Owen Arthur, during whose tenure the late Sir Clifford was appointed to the post of Governor General. He made the comments while paying tribute to the late former Governor General during the morning session of the sitting of Parliament yesterday.

“Let me say to Parliament that it was my very high honour, privilege and pleasure to recommend Sir Clifford to Her Majesty to be the Governor General of Barbados, because he was the most fitting person at the time to fill that role; because in every respect – moral, spiritual, material – he exemplified the very best aspects of the Barbadian personality. So that while he would have been the Queen’s representative, Sir Clifford performed the role of Governor General of Barbados as his own man, in his own way, drawing from the very best of the Barbadian traditions,” Arthur told the Lower House.

The St. Peter Member of Parliament’s said that Sir Clifford did not take his position lightly, and did not regard his role as Head of State as ceremonial.

“Let me say to Parliament, if that was intended to be the case, Sir Clifford certainly did not understand that aspect of the law, because he functioned wherever the Constitution and the law made provision to ensure that there as good governance in the country,” he said.

Arthur spoke of the sound counsel that the late jurist offered him during their weekly Thursday meetings. He revealed that under his administration, Sir Clifford as Governor General was provided with all Cabinet papers, and while he did not seek to get involved in running the Government, his advice was always available and offered with a “sense of propriety”.

He added, “I remember also not only the Thursday audiences, but I remember being a member of his Privy Council and the way in which he used his Privy Council to ensure that everyone seeking justice from that Privy Council received the full merit of justice in this country.”

The former Prime Minister added that in every respect Sir Clifford was exemplary in the manner in which he functioned as our Head of State, contending that he was a “magnificent holder of that office”. With that in mind, he said if all future holders of the office were to aspire to exemplify the standards and dignity set by Sir Clifford, then Barbados will be very well served. (JRT)

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