The Rt. Hon. Prof. OWEN SEYMOUR ARTHUR (October 17, 1949 – July 27, 2020)
THE RT. HON. OWEN SEYMOUR ARTHUR
Some refer to him as the Boss. Others call him the short man from the north, yet others call him the Economic guru of the West Indies. We simply call him classmate, friend and genuine Coleridge and Parry alumnus who has brought great honour to our school.
Owen Seymour Arthur left his family home in Benn Hill to enter this school in 1960 where he began his journey of success. He won a Barbados Exhibition. He became a tutor, economic advisor, Senator, political leader and Prime Minister of Barbados.
Mr. Arthur’s days at Coleridge and Parry were defined by excellence both in the classroom and on the playing field where his love for cricket was seen by all. He was a shining light and virtual mentor for many of the younger students who were drawn to him by his quiet disposition and the reputation he had acquired among his peers.
After he had completed his secondary level education he attended the University of the West Indies at Cave Hill and at Mona. He successfully completed a Bachelors Degree in Economics and History and a Masters Degree in Economics. On completion of his formal education he worked in key senior positions in Jamaica. These included the Jamaica National Planning Agency, the Jamaica Bauxite Institute and as an economic advisor to the Prime Minister.
He later returned to Barbados and joined the Ministry of Finance and Planning that was headed by the then Prime Minister. Two years later he was appointed to the Senate and then one year later was elected to the House of Assembly. This began a trajectory of upward thrust.
Mr Arthur served as the elected representative for the parish of St. Peter for thirty four unbroken years. During that period he served as Opposition Leader for one year before being elevated to the post of Prime Minister. He was the fifth person ever to hold that position and did so for fourteen consecutive years earning the honour of being, to this date, the longest serving Prime Minister of Barbados.
His life has not simply been confined to politics, but he used the office to significantly impact Barbados and the wider Caribbean. He is widely credited for his leadership in the Caribbean Single Market and Economy thrust as well as the rebuilding of Kensington Oval. This along with other initiatives under his leadership, led to the International Cricket Conference bringing the 2007 Cricket World Cup to the West Indies.
His climb to the summit locally and regionally brought with it his being appointed to the Privy Council;. He has chaired many significant entities and has also been honoured with the Jose Marti award by the United Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization as recognition for his efforts in promoting an activity of outstanding merit.
Today, this exceptional and highly revered son of the soil can stand tall as he is acknowledged and inducted as a Coleridge and Parry School Hall of Famer. Take a bow, the Rt. Hon. Owen Seymour Arthur. We are proud of you!
A tribute written by Mr. Jeff Broomes, President of the Coleridge & Parry School Alumni Association, to the Rt. Hon. Owen Seymour Arthur, former Prime Minister of Barbados, on his induction into the Coleridge and Parry School Hall of Fame on Saturday, March 7, 2020.
Peace be with you Mr. Arthur. Your memory lives on with us!