After ten years in elective politics, helping his community and people with disabilities is still paramount for St. James North Member of Parliament Edmund Hinkson.
As he celebrated this milestone during a thanksgiving service at the Garden Church of God last Sunday, the former Home Affairs Minister thanked constituency members, friends and parliamentary colleagues for their continued support.
Hinkson, who has often credited his sister Cecilia, who was born deaf for his heavy involvement in advocating for those with disabilities, said after a decade in politics, he was looking forward to debating the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill in Parliament later this year, and the National Policy document which he noted should be going to cabinet.
“It has been an honour and pleasure to be an elected Member of Parliament for the last ten years. I don’t know that I would have gotten into elective politics but for my lifelong desire to help people with disabilities, not only at the basic level but at the macro level as well,” he said.
Considering his extensive family background in politics, Hinkson attributed his love for people and the support of his colleagues to his advancement in politics through the years.
Most notably, he thanked former Minister of Health Jeffrey Bostic, Senior Minister Dr William Duguid, MP for St George South Dwight Sutherland, MP for St James South Sandra Husbands, former cabinet minister Peter Phillips, Minister with Responsibility for Crime Prevention Corey Lane, Senator Liz Thompson and MP for St Thomas Cynthia Forde – all of whom were in attendance at the service at Reid Road, the Garden, St. James.
Hinkson also pledged his full support to Corey Lane and his initiative to bring parenting training into the community. “Having joined PAREDOS (Parents Education For Development In Barbados) two months ago and seeing young people lead the service this morning, we see what good parenting can bring. If it is that the state has to intervene to help those parents who need help emotionally, psychologically, financially, this Government will,” he stressed.
Acknowledging that parenting can be a difficult task when paired with life as a politician, Hinkson jokingly confessed that he has often heard from his family that he loves his constituents more than he does them. However, he added that being there for constituents was simply something that was always in his heart.
Sharing a story of going beyond the call of duty outside his constituency, Hinkson recalled a house fire that took the life of his friend 76-year-old Millington Donavan Drakes, a resident of Westmoreland, St. James.
“Drake’s shop is not in my constituency. It’s across the border and Mr Drakes was not supportive of the Barbados Labour Party, but that was irrelevant. Drakes is my friend and if there was someone that could help Drakes, it had to be me. Regrettably, by the time I reached, I was told his body was discovered, but that is the commitment that someone who is involved in politics must have,” he told the congregation.
Additionally, as he thanked Prime Minister Mottley for the opportunity to serve in Cabinet, Hinkson said he had all intentions to continue his work within the community and with disabilities even after he leaves elective politics.
Quoting 1 Samuel 1:24 in his closing remarks, the attorney- at-law said, “I always consider the great things the Lord has done for me and I certainly believe that giving back to society has to be a part of the DNA of someone who has had the benefits and privileges of being a citizen of this great country.” (BB)