Speaker after speaker hailed the late Trevor “Job” Clarke as a trailblazer in the manufacturing sector, and a selfless patriot who was never allowed to achieve the financial success he richly deserved.
These commendations were offered by such leading personalities as international entertainer Eddie Grant, businessman Muhammad Nassar and St Michael East MP Trevor Prescod as they joined many of the island’s small businesspersons today at the Abundant Life Assembly in Bank Hall to bid Clarke farewell.
In a passionate tribute, Nassar bemoaned the fact that black activists like Clarke who often sacrificed their economic well-being for the larger good were often ridiculed by the persons for whom they made the sacrifices.
Nassar, who was one of Barbados’ leading furniture manufacturers in the 1960s and 1970s told the congregation that many of today’s small businessmen would have benefited from Clarke’s agitation for a stake in the island’s economy.
In an equally passionate tribute, Grant said that on taking up residence in Barbados over 30 years ago, Clarke had become one of his closest friends spending long hours at his home discussing the plight of black people in Barbados and the wider world.
Stressing that Clarke never benefited from his inputs in an uncaring and selfish country, Grant said: “Black people are in trouble in Barbados. Clarke was one of the persons who conceptualized the billion-dollar festival Caribana in Canada, and the popular daily The Nation newspaper. Yet at his death he was not known as a wealthy man.”
In his tribute, Prescod lauded Clarke for his contribution to the heightening of black consciousness in Barbados, and encouraged the congregation to recognize the symbolism of Clarke adopting the name Dessalines in his adult life.
And, Clarke’s two daughters Trevonne Clarke and Chris-Anne Clarke saw him as a caring father and their hero, pledging to continue his work.
Among those also attending today’s funeral service and burial were former Cabinet members Sir Wesley Hall, Keith Symmonds, QC, and Ronald Toppin; veteran journalist Ridley Greene, attorney-at-law Vonda Pile, pan-africanist and attorney-at-law Robert Bobby Clarke, Small Business Association chief executive officer Lynette Holder, former Mr Universe Earl Maynard and businessmen Gray Brome and Senator John Watson.