Memorial Planned for former Leader, Sir Paul Southwell — The National Hero would have turned 100 this year

BASSETERRE….. 26th June, 2013…..A celebration, commemorating the life and times of National Hero, Sir C.A. Paul Southwell, is being planned by his family to coincide with what would have been the late Leader’s 100 Birthday, from July 15th to 20th, 2013.

Son, Rustum Southwell says that the former Minister of Tourism and Finance, is to be honoured as the “Father of the new St. Kitts-Nevis Economy”, through a variety of events, slated for the week of his birthday.

“It is our desire to celebrate our Father’s contributions to the current lifestyle that exists in St. Kitts and Nevis,” Southwell said, “and it’s our intent to make such an event one of inclusion, so that persons, particularly those who think of our Father with great fondness, may be given the opportunity to share in the festivities, as well.”

Members of the public are invited to join the Southwell family and friends, as they gather to honour the late statesman at a memorial service, planned for Thursday, July 18th, 2013, at the Wesley Methodist Church in Basseterre. The Service, which is to begin at 8:00am, will signal the official launch of the week-long event.

Although he considered himself a spiritualist, , Southwell was baptised as a Catholic and later converted to the Methodist faith and blessed at the time of his death in a private service at Wesley Methodist, which preceded his official funeral at St. Georges Anglican Church, on May 29th, 1979.

Additionally, the Celebration is to comprise a Luncheon at Carambola also on the 18th, A Catamaran Cruise and tour of the Four Seasons in Nevis, on the 19th and a Golf Tournament at the Royal St. Kitts Golf Course at Frigate Bay, on Saturday, 20th July, 2013.

Paul Southwell is credited with heralding the diversification of the sugar industry, through the introduction of the Light Manufacturing Sector at the Industrial Site. The Site has since been renamed as the C.A. Paul Industrial Park in his tribute. He has also been touted as the architect of the tourism led economy, having received much praise for his commitment to the development of Frigate Bay. He later spearheaded the establishment of the Royal St. Kitts Golf Club to compliment the growing tourism product. In the 70s, The Royal St. Kitts Golf Course was attached to the largest accommodations site at the time, Jack Tar Village.

To this day, Sir Paul Southwell remains a much loved representative of local political life, not only in St. Kitts and Nevis, but throughout the Region and the world as well. At the time of his death in St. Lucia in May of 1979, he was attending a meeting of the then West Indies Associated States Council of Ministers to discuss the formation of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).

The National Hero was born in Castle Bruce, Dominica in 1913 and died just two months shy of his 66th birthday. At the time, Southwell was survived by eleven children and his wife, Gladys, with whom he fathered nine of them. Since then, the family has lost their beloved Mother, (Mother Gladys to much of the Nation) and two siblings in the 34 years since his death.

“At first this celebration was conceptualised as a personal tribute to our father,” Rustum has said, “But we have since revisited the plan to include persons who share our pride and honour for his public service and his genuine devotion to and love of our people.”

Private persons have pledged support of the affair, joining government, businesses and other agencies as event sponsors. Accordingly, Rustum says that this outpouring of generosity is directly attributable to the character of his father, as “One businessman who purchased a table for the luncheon said he would pay double the amount to celebrate Paul’s life”.

“We were raised in an academically enabling environment,” he said, “yet Daddy still found time for fun, entertainment and definitely the Arts”.

For more information, sponsorship information and to purchase a table at the Celebration Luncheon at Carambola, on July 18th, please email:

To sign up for the Golf Tournament on Saturday, July 20th, please contact: Cedric Jeffers at

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