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Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves. (iWN file photo)
Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves. (iWN file photo)

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.”

Ebenezer JoshuaThe 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.

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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.

3 replies on “Joshua’s family should care about his grave as much as his legacy — PM”

  1. I would be in agreement with PM Gonsalves’ statement that: “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”, except that the PM did not put forth any credible evidence that the family does not care about the gravesite or that the government is doing anything to preserve that historical site. The government of SVG should recognize the gravesite of E.T. Joshua as a National Treasure!
    While I do not question the PM’s respect for E.T. Joshua and his support for making Joshua a national hero, I depart from his thinking that suggests that the Joshua family bear sole responsibility for preserving the historic gravesite of the Honourable E.T. Joshua. Contrary to his thinking, just like his government control of “National Properties” the graves of national icons such as E.T. Joshua, Robert Milton Cato, George Hamilton Charles, Dr. J.P. Eustace, George McIntosh, and others who have contributed unselfish and exemplary services to the evolution of our nation should be recogonized and preserved by government for our national posterity, education and tourism. And the families of these great patriots must be vigilant to hold the government to this great responsibility.
    It is bad enough that the graves of ordinary Vincentians are being left to erode and their caskets carried by our rivers to the sea. Must we also take the chance that the last remaining resting places of our national heroes be left to human vandalism and be fields for animal grazing?
    Mr. PM, you can do and say whatever you want to do with your own corpse or gravesite. But in your lifetime you must use your powers as PM of our nation to do the honourable thing in giving the gravesite of our heroes due respect and take the national responsibility for their upkeep.
    I am Vinci Vin. My ashes will be dispersed over my Beloved Hairouna.

  2. Brown Boy USA says:

    Why is this PM so disrespectful and often stray from the real question or issue? He has a way of turning around and pointing the finger at people when they view their concerns. What does Joshua’s grave has to do with anything? Is his grave site being used as shine or anything of momentous significance? The answer is, NO. What is important is his legacy and his contribution to this country, no his grave site. I do hope when you die, Mr. PM, that your grave site will be will properly tended to, because right now your legacy may be something we need to forget!

    1. Brown Boy USA- You have accused the PM of being “sooo” disrespectful but you have ended your discourse with a big dose of the same when you stated, “I do hope when you die, MR.PM, that your grave site will be properly tended to, because right now your legacy may be something we need to forget!” That is a big personal blunder and indeed in poor taste. There is no way a country can and will forget the contribution and service of any Prime Minister or President. There is always a legacy left my dear friend.
      Dr. Gonsalves is a gem of SVG, a stalwart in politics, a University lecturer who has been invited to speak at many such institutions and did so commanding attention due to his brilliance, he is writer and much more! Brown Boy don’t be blinded by personal feelings. Your current PM is a living legend! Give credit and respect where it is due!
      I am not a Vincentian but has been visiting SVG for many years. I recall seeing the PM walking the streets and “rubbing shoulders” with the people, and so I declare that he worked hard to be where he is today, my friend!
      I agree with the PM’s statement because with the Joshua Family making such a move can also move the government to work with them in such a restorative process. Yes, Brown Boy USA, the grave site of anyone of national or historical significance is monumental. Hence the PM, gives the challenge and has rightfully done so. The upkeep of the gravesite would indeed further enhance the legacy of the late Chief Minister, because people can visit, school children and youth groups can tour the site and be inspired to be proud Vincentians.

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