Former Cabinet Minister, noted trade unionist and diplomat Evelyn Greaves received a fond farewell at the St Lucy Parish Church this morning.
Among the hundreds who attended the official funeral were, Governor General Dame Sandra Mason, Prime Minister Mia Mottley, several Members of Parliament and Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson.
Former Prime Ministers Freundel Stuart and Owen Arthur were also in attendance as well as Democratic Labour Party (DLP) stalwarts such as Astor B Watts, trade union leaders, and members of the Diplomatic Corps.
Greaves, who died on September 22 at the age of 78, was remembered as a committed family man, educator and a peoples’ person.
Close friend and former St Michael South Central DLP representative, David Bowen revealed that Greaves did not only assume the role of big brother but was also “principled” and “selfless”.
“Perhaps because of his knowledge of what hardship was about that Evelyn always had a concern for the poor and the marginalized. Despite having risen to a position to rub shoulders with the heads of state and other dignitaries on the world stage, he was a man who never lost the ability to find common ground with the lowliest of persons,” Bowen said as he read from a eulogy written by Greaves’ widow Francillia.
Educated at the St Clement Boys School, Greaves went on to further his studies at Coleridge and Parry, Harrison College and the University of West Indies where he met his wife.
“He never cared with what anybody else acquired he was happy with his own life. Nothing pleased him more than to see someone for whom he had opened a door make good of themselves and he called to us with gratitude those who had given him a leg up in life,” Bowen shared.
“The preservation of his good name was something he guarded closely. Any resemblance of dishonesty in a person would cause him to distance himself quickly,” said Bowen.
Greaves represented the constituency of St Lucy from 1971 until 1981, and again between 1986-1994. Throughout his career he remained committed to the Democratic Labour Party, often letting critics “have it” when their unfairly criticized the party, Bowen revealed.
Aside from his political allegiances and his love for country, Greaves was also described a shopaholic with a penchant for t-shirts and ties, an avid table tennis player and a loving grandfather who was referred to as Papa or Papa Bear by his three grandchildren — Maya, Anya and Olivia.
During her tribute his daughter Stacey Greaves Walcott, who was accompanied by her daughter Maya, described her father as strict but loving.
“We were taught a spirit of gratitude for everything that others did for us as he always reminded us that no one owed us anything. Above all we were expected to respect ourselves and treat each person no matter their station in life with respect,” she said.
Greaves, who represented Barbados as the High Commissioner to Canada during the years 2008-2015 and served as a Deputy General Secretary and Head of the Barbados Workers Union Labour College from 1974 to 1996, was laid to rest at St Clement’s Church Cemetery. (KK)