It is with sadness and deep regret that I learnt of the passing of Sir Richard Christopher Haynes, K.A., a most distinguished Barbadian.
Richie, as he was affectionately known to many of us, was an outstanding compatriot, who rose from humble beginnings to reach the top of his chosen profession and career.
He devoted most of his adult life to the wellbeing of others, particularly their health care, and over many decades served this country with distinction in a number of capacities — as a medical doctor of note; as Senior Physician Specialist and then Chief of Staff at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital; as a Member of Parliament, Minister of Finance and Opposition Leader; and also as founder and head of the National Democratic Party.
Sir Richard pioneered a number of local health initiatives during his lifetime. As a physician, he was instrumental in developing the Intensive Care Unit at the QEH; he encouraged and promoted post-graduate medical education; and worked tirelessly to transform the QEH from a secondary-care institution to a quality tertiary-care teaching hospital.
Between 1978 and 1998, he represented the St. Michael South Central constituency in the House of Assembly with much dedication and commitment.
He was a motivating force and integral part of the success of the great party which I now have the honour of leading.
Even when he disagreed philosophically with us and left our party to form another, the vigour of his contribution to national life never waned. Indeed, it intensified.
Sir Richard was made a Knight of St. Andrew in the 2003 Independence Honours in acknowledgment of his extraordinary and outstanding achievement to health care and to the political and social development of Barbados. His name has been immortalised on the popular Hastings Rocks Boardwalk in recognition of his contribution to national life and to the commercial development of the environs of Rockley, Christ Church.
In recent years incursions on his health softened his resonance and slowed his mobility, but did not dampen his resolve or eagerness to weigh-in on matters of state, or to offer wise counsel on national and regional issues. His continued to be a fertile, rational and analytical intellect to the end.
In fact, at the time of his passing he was still a trustee of the Arnott Cato Foundation and was serving as a director on other boards.
Barbados has lost a brilliant mind and an outstanding physician. He will long be remembered.
To Carol, Lady Haynes and their sons, Richard Jn. and Kashka, and other members of the family, I extend on behalf of the Government and people of Barbados, and on my own behalf, heartfelt condolences. Richie Haynes will be missed. May he rest in peace. ”
The Government of Barbados will accord Sir Richard an official funeral, the details of which will be announced later in the week.