Hundreds of mourners packed the St John Parish Church Thursday and dozens more sought accommodation under a large tent located at the northern end of the church as they gathered to bid farewell to Earl Wesley Glasgow, a beloved son of the rural parish.
Many of the mourners attending the funeral service would likely debate whether Lodge School alumni outnumbered members of the ruling Democratic Labour Party which Glasgow served for many years during his distinguished career.
During the two-hour service, Glasgow was described as an outstanding Classics teacher who taught at the Lodge School, Combermere School, the Barbados Community College and the St Leonard’s School.
In delivering the eulogy his second son Andrew said his dad’s life was “one of sacrifice, love of God, family and country”.
Andrew added that friends and associates would never forget his dad’s “enduring love and dedication to family and his indomitable spirit which was clearly borne out in his perpetual patriotism to Barbados”.
Explaining the former diplomat’s love for his children and grandchildren, Andrew said: “Dad was ever mindful of his children without being overly protective. He was kind but without spoiling us, although as you may guess, grandchildren always get more luxury and leeway than we did.”
Among the lessons he passed on to his children and grandchildren, Andrew recalled, was the importance of focusing on goals and perspectives on life without giving way to those who would otherwise taunt, disrupt or destroy what they themselves could not build.
Andrew said his father was the first black cricket and football captain at Lodge School at a time when race was an issue, as well as the first black to teach as a graduating student, going on to excel as senior classics master.
Andrew told the congregation, which included Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, former Deputy Prime Minister Philip Greaves, Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy, former Chief Justice Sir David Simmons and former Lodge School student and top Caribbean jockey Challenor Jones, that “friendship and loyalty realistically have no limits” and hence it was not difficult to understand why his “much-respected father would be offered the position of Personal Assistant to the then Prime Minister, the Right Excellent Errol Walton Barrow, National Hero of Barbados”.
“Rising to the new challenges away from the classroom, my father had to dig deeper. He reached out to many Barbadians from all walks of life. As Consul General he had to attend to national, regional, international, and diaspora affairs with the type of diplomacy and temperament that have stood the test of time,” he said of Glasgow, who had served as Consul General in New York.
“The pliant characteristic of my father to balance home and work, family and friends, and candour with tact, conveys the sense in which he stood firm on principle yet was sufficiently tolerable to appreciate the presence and opinions of others.”
Officiating minister Reverend Dr Geoffrey Mayers suggested that even in his old age Glasgow was always seeking out the extra-ordinary in what appeared to be the ordinary.
The Anglican minister further noted that Glasgow was always a focused person, a characteristic that manifested itself in whatever capacity he served.
“No doubt he saw things as a passenger a little bit differently from when he was the driver [teacher]. That happens to us if we live long enough we will see things differently. If we live long enough we have to find a way of turning the ordinary into the extra-ordinary,” the Anglican cleric said.
The former diplomat and Order of the British Empire awardee died on January 17 after a brief illness. He was 85.
Glasgow was Barbados’ Consul General in New York between 1986 and 1994, serving Prime Ministers Errol Barrow and Erskine Sandiford, now Sir Lloyd.