Statement on the Passing of The Rt. Hon. Owen Seymour Arthur Former Prime Minister of Barbados

Along with Barbados, the Caribbean Community and his former Caricom heads of government colleagues, I was saddened to learn of the passing today of former Barbados Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Owen Seymour Arthur.  He was 70.

Owen Arthur served as Prime Minister of Barbados from “6 September 1994 to 20 January 1999; 20 January 1999 to 21 May 2003; and from 21 May 2003 to 15 January 2008.” 

He was his country’s longest serving prime minister.  He left an indelible mark on the economic and social development of Barbados.  Owen Arthur was appointed to the Barbados Senate in 1983 and was elected as a Member of Parliament in 1984, where he served until 2013.

As I noted in a letter of condolence to Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley:

“This sad occasion causes us to reflect upon his remarkable life, his outstanding contributions to Barbados, the Caribbean Community and the international community, these memories will be cherished by all.  His several visits to The Bahamas is also an important part of those memories.”  He was a tremendous friend and admirer of The Bahamas.

Owen Arthur earned a BA Degree in Economics and History and an MSc degree in Economics from the University of the West Indies (UWI).  He had a special devotion to UWI and contributed significantly to its growth and development.

Barbados has lost a great son of the soil and the Caribbean has lost a champion of the region, which mourn his passing.

On behalf of the Government and people of The Bahamas, and on my own behalf and that of Patricia, I extend condolences to his wife, Julie; his two children, Leah and Sabrina; other family members and to the people and Government of Barbados. 

Our prayers and sympathy are with his family, friends and former colleagues during this time of bereavement.