Statement by Prime Minister Dr. the Hon Timothy Harris, on the Passing of Educator Washington Archibald on Tuesday, June 20, 2017

I wish to extend my personal condolences to the family and wide circle of friends who are mourning the passing of one the Federation’s greatest sons of the soil, the late George Washington Archibald.

I took time out on one of my trips to New York to visit him at the facility where he was undergoing specialist treatment and I also spent time with him on several occasions while he was a resident at The Grange Healthcare Facility.

The Government and people of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis join with them to mourn the profound loss of an educator and political commentator, who will best be remembered for his passion for helping adult learners and persons with learning disabilities.

Washington Archibald spent many years in the education profession. From 1951 to 2009 he served as a teacher and principal at various government schools, and at St Theresa’s Convent School, now the Immaculate Conception Catholic School. Mr. Archibald also established his own private school, The St. Kitts Business College, and later founded and ran Project Strong.

Mr. Archibald also served as an editor and regular contributor to The Democrat newspaper. He also wrote for the Opron Star newspaper which was based on Market Street, Basseterre.

Mr. Archibald played an important role in the political life of St. Kitts and Nevis and held an alternative view for the progressive development of the Federation. He had long rejected the validity of a sugar industry and, in fact, thought that the continuation of the sugar industry was a continuation of an industry that made our people poor and kept them on the periphery of socio-economic development. In that regard, Mr. Archibald put forward two alternatives to the sugar industry. One was to turn from sugar to pork production, and the second was a proposition to turn the northeastern section of St. Kitts, which had long been the most productive area for sugar production, into something marvelous that could link to the tourism industry. Hence, the idea for the Whitegate Development was born.

Washington Archibald was one of seven outstanding nationals of St. Kitts and Nevis who were conferred with the Independence 2015 Awards for their contribution to the development of the Federation and it was indeed a distinct pleasure for me to witness him being honoured with the Companion Star of Merit (CSM) award for his contribution to education.

I have very positive and fond memories of Washington Archibald personally, but more importantly, I will have enduring memories of his contributions to the socio-economic and political life of St. Kitts and Nevis. He taught me Economics, Accounting and Politics and in many respects, he touched my life personally and professionally.

In my most recent political sojourn with respect to Team Unity, Washington Archibald served as a member of the group ‘Operation Rescue’ for a time, providing advocacy and strong support to me as I assumed the leadership of the alternative government to the then incumbent.

At a time of political turmoil in the country, occasioned by the failure to debate the Motion of No Confidence, Mr. Archibald, as a member of the group ‘Operation Rescue’, gave advocacy and strong support to me as I assumed the leadership of the alternative government (Team Unity) to the then incumbent.

For all the great things that he has done and has caused to be done, I want to place on record my own personal debt of gratitude to Washington Archibald and to mourn with the Nation at large on the loss of an outstanding son of the soil, who, to the end, lived simply to serve his fellow compatriots.

May his soul rest in peace.

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