The family of Ebenezer Theodore Joshua, first chief minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, should care as much about the upkeep of his grave as they do his legacy, says Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves.
The prime minister’s comments came on Monday as he was asked at a press conference to respond to concerns by Joshua’s family that his legacy would go by the way with the decommissioning of the E.T. Joshua Airport, named in his honour.
“I would give everybody the assurance that Ebenezer Joshua’s name and memory will never fade for us,” Gonsalves said.
“One of the things I want to say to the family members too is that I’d like them, very much, to be on top of the ball to ensure that the grave site of E.T. Joshua is properly kept.”
The prime minister said that a couple years ago, Noel Jackson and a couple other trade unionists had to go to make sure that the grave site was properly kept.
Gonsalves, 70, said he doesn’t know if he will be cremated and his ashes thrown into the Caribbean Sea.
“But if they decide that they are going to put me in a grave, I’m hopeful that I don’t have to rely on the state to keep my grave site in order.
“I am just saying this because a lot of people complain about a lot of things, but, at my stage in life, I think I’ve lived long enough that I can talk a lot of things on my mind. Not everything, but some things. But I assure you that E.T. Joshua will not fade in the memory.”
Gonsalves said he is one of the few persons who have written about Joshua. He said that in 1975 he wrote a paper that he presented at the University of the West Indies, where he was lecturing at Mona.
The paper was focused on ideology and style of Joshua, Gonsalves said, adding that more recently he has been supportive of Joshua being made a national hero.