President of the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP), Arnhim Eustace, says his party owes much to former host of its “New Times” radio programme, Eduardo “E.G.” Lynch, who died around 9 a.m. Wednesday at age 67.
Lynch, who hosted New Times for almost 10 years, had been ill for sometime.
He died at the Garden of Eden nursing home, where he had been a resident for some time after suffering a series of strokes, including a stroke suffered on air in 2012 while hosting New Times.
“Our party owes a great debt of gratitude to EG Lynch,” Eustace said on New Times on Wednesday, where he formally announced Lynch’s death.
“He was a transforming figure in the New Democratic Party. He took his work very seriously running this programme and even during his illness, when he was able, he would listen to this programme,” Eustace, who is also Leader of the Opposition, said on New Times.
“Mr. Lynch really was somebody who understood and could give a message and he prepared very well for his programme. He didn’t just come on to the radio just so on mornings. Very early in the morning, you would go into the office and you see him there on the computer putting his information together for when he goes on air. And I am sure that the entire family of the NDP will miss him and the people of St. Vincent generally will miss him,” Eustace said.
“We owe in the New Democratic Party a great debt of gratitude to E.G. Lynch for his contribution,” he said.
“He made a contribution and there is good in that contribution. He did not labour in vain. He worked hard and his contribution has helped the NDP to be where it is today, and we will not forget that,” Eustace said.
Lynch daily oral war of attrition against the ruling Unity Labour Party, which came to office in 2001 after 17 years of NDP governance, is largely credited for helping to turn around the fortunes of the NDP.
The NDP lost the 2001 and 2005 elections to the ULP by a 12-3 margin, but won seven seats in 2010, falling one seat short of governance.
But Lynch’s radio style also caused NICE Radio, on which New Times is broadcast, to pay Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves an estimated EC$206,000 for defamation.
Gonsalves had filed the suit after comments Lynch made about financing of a trip to Rome for members of his Gonsalves’ family.
Eustace said Lynch’s daughter, will announce the funeral arrangements.
“As a party with whom he worked and laboured, we will consult with her in respect of the funeral itself,” Eustace said.
“I want to use this opportunity to pay condolences to all members of his family. Our contact with his family had been a most significant one, especially in recent years. And looking at her (his daughter) this morning, I know she was very, very distraught. So, I want to just say to the family, he has played his part well, and now he is gone to the ages,” Eustace said.