Hundreds of Barbadians from all walks of life today said goodbye to Lionel Seymour Craig, CHB, who was described by Opposition Leader, Mia Mottley as “a champion, and a giant of a man in all respects”.
His wife, Tracy, children, and other family members, were joined this morning by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, Mottley, other members of parliament on both sides of the House, and well-wishers at the St Patrick’s Cathedral for the funeral service for Craig, who passed away on March 9, at the QEH.
“The truth is, simply put, Lionel Craig was a man of the people. In every sense he reflected that,” said Mottley in her tribute to the man who was a member of her Barbados Labour Party for 53 years until his passing at age 85.
“In everything he gave his heart. There was passion in everything. He smiled, he fought, he was not afraid. He understood the consequences of choices. He accepted them willingly, but it never daunted his spirit, irrespective of the outcome.”
Craig, a recipient of Barbados’ second highest honour, The Companion of Honour, for his outstanding contribution to national service, served as a Member of Parliament for 20 years from 1966, being a Cabinet Minister from 1976 to 1986. He also once acted as Prime Minister.
Mottley recalled, “His period of time as Minister of Housing will come to be regarded as one of the most prolific periods… and what forever will stand in the memory of the people of St James, was the bold decision to move the entire village of Springhead, for whom there were no services, water and electricity, into what is now Sand Hill, bringing them immediately into the 20th Century as one of the key contributions to his constituents as Minister of Housing”.
She said BLP members viewed Craig as “An ever present teacher, and one that lifted our spirits…one of the few links that we had to our founder leader, Sir Grantley Adams”.
Delivering the sermon, Father Clement Paul said of Craig, “He made his mistakes, had his problems, had difficulties, but never gave up on life”.