Former Head of the Civil Service, Sir Carlisle Burton, is dead at the age of 91.
Sir Carlisle died at 2:20 a.m. today at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital following a brief illness. As news of his death began to spread across the country, some prominent members of the society came forward to pay glowing tribute to this illustrious son of the soil.
In paying tribute to Sir Carlisle who was knighted in 1979, former surgeon specialist and Trustee of the Arnott Cato Foundation , Sir Errol Walrond said: “I have known Sir Carlisle since I was a young man. My first distinct memory of him was on entering first form at Harrison College. I recalled that he said some of us would reach the millennium and that seemed so far away at that time. He was talking about it in the context of our personal development and what some of us would achieve in that time. Sir Carlisle went on to become one of
the finest public servants in the country and I think he set a benchmark for those who followed him, particularly as head of the Civil Service.”
Sir Errol went on to say: “But in my field of medicine he was one of the most distinguished and influential persons in the Ministry of Health. He presided over the big disaster, the polio epidemic, and was part of the team who not only supervised dealing with the victims, but was there to organise the immunisation programme. He was always interested in the people in the Ministry of Health, not only his own personal development in that field, but he encouraged health professionals in all fields, particularly the health inspectors to upgrade their qualifications.”
Commenting on Sir Carlisle’s involvement with the Arnott Cato Foundation, Sir Errol said: “[He] was a great friend of the late Sir Arnott and after he died he was instrumental in
establishing the Arnott Cato Foundation which is dedicated to enhancing the personal development of those who worked in the health sector and this is at all levels. It also assisted health professionals in St. Vincent because that was the birth place of Sir Arnott.”
Recalling that he was a dedicated cricket fan, Sir Errol said: “He was instrumental in keeping the names of great Barbadian cricketers alive. He co-authored a book on cricket with Professor Keith Sandiford. At his death he had just completed his memoirs.”
Sir Errol said his wife Lady Burton, who he leaves to mourn, was a great support during his career and his work with the Arnott Cato Foundation.
Former Chief Information Officer,Margaret Hope also paid tribute.
“I worked with Sir Carlisle as a junior and senior public officer. He was a close friend of my parents. I have been his Chief Executive Officer of the Arnott Cato Foundation for the past eight years. He was an intelligent and wonderful man and up to the day before he died he was discussing issues related to the Arnott Cato Foundation and the University of the West Indies. He had just completed his memoirs, copies of which are now in the port”.
Commenting on the passing of Sir Carlisle, former permanent secretary in the Ministry responsible for Aviation, Ian Archer, said: “Sir Carlisle was a distinguished public servant. During his long career he was a teacher, a librarian, government printer and eventually a permanent secretary who rose to the pinnacle of the public service when he became the head of the Civil Service. I was privileged to have served as a permanent secretary during his tenure as head of the Civil Service. When we both retired he invited me to join him in the establishment of the Barbados Association of Retired Persons. I was more than willing to assist him in this venture. He was the first president of BARP and served in that capacity for the first three years of BARP’s life. But more than that, Sir Carlisle was BARP’s initial guiding light and inspiration. BARP and Barbados have lost a gentle giant. We will all miss him,” Archer added. (NC)
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