BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS – The late Chief Minister of Montserrat, Hon. John Alfred was a staunch supporter and defender of regional integration and always lamented the fact that Montserrat’s constitutional status precluded him and his country from making a larger contribution to that process.
“Yet, John Osborne stood out precisely because constitutional constraints notwithstanding, he insisted on Montserrat’s active participation in the Councils of regional decision-making regardless of the issues under consideration,” said Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas at Friday’s Service of Thanksgiving for the late Montserrat leader.
Dr. Douglas, who is also Chairman of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) in remarks at the service, said the late Montserrat leader was passionate about the OECS, and his enthusiasm and optimism energized his colleagues and peers at Meetings of the OECS Authority.
“Indeed, he was quick to note Montserrat’s status as one of founding fathers of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States in 1981. Dr. John Osborne was a politician who inspired respect not just in Montserrat but throughout the Caribbean region and beyond. He was indeed a true public servant committed to public welfare, and the notion of service above self,” Dr. Douglas said.
He told the large number of mourners from across the Caribbean and Montserrat that John Alfred Osborne was a great man, a truly noble son of Montserrat and the OECS and the region as a whole, have lost a leader of immense stature, a man of deep conviction and strong commitment to the development of his country and the wider region.
“Dr. John A Osborne served his country and the region with distinction. He was a true patriot – a man who loved his country and devoted his life to its development. Almost forty years of that life were spent in the business of government and politics, and for eighteen of those years he was at the helm of government. His patriotism was unparalleled, as was his abiding faith in his people, and concern for the welfare of the least among them,” said Prime Minister Douglas.
Dr. Osborne was described as a veritable ‘man of the people’ and had an amazing capacity to communicate with all persons, regardless of their social status. His advocacy on the need for improved living standards – for improvements in the quality of education and of health care – was marked by conviction and steadfastness.
“John Osborne had great dreams for this country, dreams which he articulated clearly and fearlessly. While many of those dreams are yet to materialize, his tireless efforts are not in vain. Dr. John Osborne will always be remembered as someone who lived for his country and the wider region. The words ‘true statesman and regional integrationist’ summarise, though not quite adequately, the character of this individual we all loved and admired. Let us be guided by this beacon that is the life and example of Dr. John Osborne. Let us give thanks for a life that enriched so much the landscape of Montserrat and our Caribbean region,” concluded Prime Ministr Douglas.