The agriculture sector has lost one of its champions.
That was the reaction of chief executive officer of the Barbados Agricultural Society (BAS) James Paul to the death of well-known agriculturalist Keith Laurie this afternoon.
Laurie’s death came a month after he was diagnosed with pancreatic and liver cancers. He was 81.
His eldest daughter, Keithlan told Barbados TODAY he died at around 1:40 p.m. today.
“He passed away peacefully at home in bed with his family at hand and, thankfully, he did not suffer,” she said.
Laurie was a former president of the BAS and Sheep Farmers’ Association and also served as Barbados’ Honorary Consul for Haiti.
Paul, who knew him for about 17 years, was shocked when he heard the news, saying that he had spoken to the family just this morning.
“He was obviously one of those persons who was clearly outspoken and who had always defended the cause of the sector and strove to ensure that whatever was best for the sector, was done. He lived with passion for it,” the CEO said.
“He was always one of the persons who would encourage those around him to do the same and he was a true leader in that respect. For a long time he trumpeted the virtues of the Barbados blackbelly sheep even when others weren’t prepared to go in that direction, so he was an innovator; he looked for opportunities. He was a true Barbadian in that he tried to do the best for Barbados and to push it in the direction that he felt it should go.”
Laurie leaves to mourn his wife, Marina, and four children – Keithlan, Rae, Veronica and Andrew.