Down to earth and as Barbadian as they come!
That’s how Opposition Leader Mia Mottley has described the late Sir Frederick ‘Sleepy’ Smith, who passed away here on Monday at age 92.
Hailing him as “quintessentially Barbadian”, Mottley said: When the history of Barbados is written Sir Frederick’s name will feature prominently in the years to Independence and during the first 50 years of Independence.
“With his passing we come to an end of an era of Barbadian politics.
“Whether as Barbados’ first post Independence Attorney-General or as Minister of Education or Minister of Public Works or indeed as Leader of the Opposition, Sir Frederick played his role in the building of this country through his political service,” Mottley noted, while also pointing out that, “Upon retirement from politics he returned to the law where he served as President of the Court of Appeal in Grenada, then Chief Justice of Turks and Caicos and finally as a Court of Appeal Judge in Barbados.”
However, the Opposition Leader said “it is not the high offices he held for which he will be fondly remembered.
“It was his absolutely approachable demeanor.
” ‘Sleepy’ Smith was down to earth and was as Bajan as they come – whether sitting in Court or walking through and talking to people in the courtyard; whether speaking on the floor of Parliament or moving around the precincts of Parliament dealing with ordinary Barbadians, ” she noted.
“Sir Frederick spoke his mind at all times. Sometimes it worked for him and other times it put him at the centre of controversy. But he never stopped speaking his mind. That was the man – always,” added Mottley, in expressing her condolences to Sir Frederick’s family.
The retired jurist leaves to mourn his wife Lois Lady Smith, his children, Astrid and Craig and his grandchildren.