Former Government Senator Ivan Lynton was described yesterday as a member of the “greatest generation” whose legacy could “never be erased”.
Lynton, who became the first blind person to sit in the Senate when he was appointed by Prime Minister Owen Arthur in 2003, died on December 13, 2015, aged 81.
The Barbados Labour Party (BLP) “family” turned out in their numbers yesterday at the Breath of Life Seventh Day Adventist Church in White Hall, St Michael, to say farewell to the former senator in a funeral service that was punctuated with moments of humour.
In a brief but insightful tribute Arthur said it was not unusual for countries to pay homage to their “greatest generation”, who did extraordinary things to help improve their societies.
“This is meant to refer to people of a particular era; people of the highest calibre and character who lived outstanding lives and who did more than any other generation to fashion their societies and to make them better. Barbados too has had its greatest generation. It was that generation of Barbadians, born in the first half of the 20th century.
“This generation made the doing of extraordinary things, their ordinary business. They have left behind accomplishments that can never be surpassed, and a legacy that can never be erased. They fought against injustice, broke down the barriers of inequality and laid the foundations for the emergence of a civilized society whose goodness we now take for granted. Some of that generation have been elevated to the iconic status of national heroes,” Arthur said.
He placed the former senator in this category of Barbadians, stressing Lynton’s limited educational opportunities did not prevent him from making wise decisions.
“I refer to those people like Lynton, who without the benefit of other than an elementary education, made huge and lasting contributions to this country’s development. Their good works will live in the hearts and minds of people as long as there is a Barbados,” Arthur told the congregation, which included his successor as BLP leader, Mia Mottley; St George North MP, Gline Clarke; St Michael North MP, Ronald Toppin; former Minister of Tourism Noel Lynch; former Government Senators Tyrone Barker and Sandra Husbands former Deputy High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Herbie Yearwood; the visually-impaired President of the Senate, Kerrie-Anne Ifill; and Clerk of the House of Assembly Pedro Eastmond.
The former Prime Minister recalled that Lynton was a Bank Hall man who “like so many, lived on the naked edge of racism in the then exclusively white Strathclyde district . . . [and] in the manner of another Bank Hall man, the late Sir Frank Worrell, strived to transform it [racism]not by rancour, but by enlightenment and grace.”
In her eulogy, Dr Wendy Hope, one of Lynton’s daughters, spoke glowingly of her late father, saying he was both a caring father and a loving husband.
Dr Hope recalled that her father always ensured that all of his children arrived at school safely in the morning and on many occasions would return to ensure that they arrived home safely after school.
Lynton was later interred at Coral Ridge Memorial Gardens, Christ church.