Today, March 11, marked the 28th anniversary of the death of former Prime Minister J. M. G. M. “Tom” Adams and today he continues to be remembered as a giant among men.
When Adams died of a heart attack at Ilaro Court in 1985, he was the first sitting Prime Minister of Barbados to die in office. This morning Member of Parliament for St. Thomas, Cynthia Forde, and a contingent of Barbados Labour Party supporters journeyed to St. Michael’s Cathedral in the City, where he was buried, to lay a wreath.
Speaking to the media, Forde described Adams, whose tenure as Prime Minister lasted for nine years and represented the St. Thomas constituency for close to 20 years before his death, as one of the most astute political leaders of Barbados and†by extension, the Caribbean.
She said she believed many Barbadians still could not comprehend the outstanding contributions he made to the development of the country, but she was happy to be there to pay tribute to him and bring his life back into focus.
“I really laud his outstanding work particularly with the Tenantries Freehold Purchase Act… It has really taken on a phenomenal change when you look at tenantries now like Lion’s Castle, Hopewell, Dunscombe…, some people have houses nearly as big as the [Tom Adams Financial Centre] Central Bank that were chattel houses before.
“He set up scholarships for individuals in English, to ensure that we keep that high quality standard, and there are a number of other things. When it comes to the international business sector, people do not understand Tom Adams started that and it has put Barbados in good stead over the years,” she said.
Curbed Grenada coup
“Grenadians will never forget the role that Tom Adams played in relation to the coup that took place there… Tom was extremely instrumental in helping to curb that and it would not have stayed in Grenada alone it would have spiralled right into the rest of the Caribbean, Dame Eugenia Charles she too worked with them and they were able to silence that process.
“The aircraft from the United States that came to the rescue, landed right here at Grantley Adams [International Airport] and then went on to Grenada to do what they had to do to saves the lives of the people there.
“So I am happy to be alive to pay homage to this man and the team of Barbados Labour Party people,” said Forde.
The BLP will not celebrate his death, but instead has chosen to acknowledge this date as the occasion when Barbados lost one of its brilliant minds. Alternatively, the party will hold a week of activities in September to celebrate his birth on September 24. (KC)†††††††