Former Governor General Sir Clifford Husbands changed the tradition in Barbados when it came to appointing an Acting Prime Minister.
It was revealed this morning in the House of Assembly that Sir Clifford, a constitutional hawk, felt very uncomfortable confirming the appointment of an Acting Prime Minister while the substantive holder of the office had not yet departed the country.
Opposition Leader Mia Mottley told the House that it
was not uncommon for her to get a late-night appointment or one that came in the wee hours of the morning, depending on the flight schedule of the then Prime Minister Owen Arthur.
Paying tribute to the late Governor General, Mottley said Sir Clifford firmly believed “there cannot be two Prime Ministers” and so an acting Prime Minister should not be sworn in until the Prime Minister was out of the jurisdiction.
Using words such as “extraordinary”, “committed” and “dignified” to describe Sir Clifford, the St Michael North East Member of Parliament said the former head of state had often expressed to his concern to her that persons in the younger generation were not as appreciative of the notion of independence. She said he often promoted the idea of ensuring that young people were exposed to formal independence celebrations.
Moreover, Mottley told the House Sir Clifford believed in family, understood the importance of nation building and promoted standards of excellence in every endeavour.
Mottley also spoke of the late Governor General’s love of music and his sharp wit.
Also paying tribute to Sir Clifford from the Opposition benches was Member of Parliament for The City Lieutenant Colonel Geoffrey Bostic, who while not having a personal relationship with the late Governor General, spoke of his insistence on top quality.
The retired officer of the Barbados Defence Force said when Sir Clifford was unhappy about any aspects of official parades, he was not one to hide it.
Bostic said when Sir Clifford articulated his concerns in writing to the BDF high command, “heads would roll” in the military organization.
In her contribution, St Michael South East representative Santia Bradshaw described Sir Clifford as a statesman and said she admired his passion for family and for country.