Sir Vincent Beache at a Unity Labour Party event in April 2018. (iWN photo)

Sir Vincent Ian Beache, the former minister of national security who died on Monday at age 87 will be accorded a state funeral, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves has announced.

“Sir Vincent Ian Beache is one of the towering figures in our history and one of the most distinguished personalities from our country and the Caribbean who was born in the 20th century,” Gonsalves said on radio from Taiwan, where he is on an official visit.

He noted that Sir Vincent, a former opposition leader, also served as a minister of government under the St. Vincent Labour Party administration and later as minister of national security under his Unity Labour Party government, which came to office in March 2001.

“He has been one of the most successful political figures in our history. He is the best prime minister we never had,” Gonsalves said of his one-time political nemesis.

“He was my dear friend and comrade and will miss him greatly. I will have a lot more to say about this extraordinary personality who came from humble beginnings in South Rivers to arrive at a point, upon his retirement, [at which] there was general acclaim for him throughout the country and the region and elsewhere.

“The country will miss him; I will miss him; his party and his government will miss him; the people will miss him. Giants like these, when they pass, a void is left. His advice has always been very sound to me and we have worked on many struggles together, worked for the betterment of the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines; very progressive, nationalist, anti-imperialist, advanced social democrat who looked out for the poor and the working people and the nation as a whole, a man who sought to unite people.” 

Gonsalves quoted the Bible book of Micah in which the prophet asks what God requires.

“Vincent Beache did justly, loved mercy and he walked humbly with his God,” Gonsalves said, echoing the answer given in that portion of scripture,” Gonsalves said, echoing the answer found in that book.

“The government and people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines will provide a very dignified send off, as befitting our civilisation. He will be accorded a state funeral. He will be given all the requisite honours at his burial because of his outstanding service, including as leader of the opposition.

“To Lady Vida, his family and friends, on behalf of the government and people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and on my own behalf, I express sincerest condolences. I do so on my behalf and also on behalf of my family. It is a sad moment for all of us. I do so also on behalf of the party which he led. He was my immediate predecessor as leader,” the prime minister said.  

5 replies on “State funeral for Sir Vincent — ‘the best prime minister we never had’”

    1. Jannette Burke says:

      When will you people stop demonstrating ignorance and arrogance on Social Media. If a State funeral is warranted, so be it. Many countries/islands do that for dignitaries. What have you done so far?????

  1. SVG’s BEST “NEVER PMs”.

    With apologies to the woefully historically-challenged, if there were ever such a ‘thing’ as ‘ the Best Prime Minister that SVG Never Had ‘, that nomenclature would definitely go to Deputy Political Leader of the St. Vincent Labour Party (SVLP), the inimitable, erudite, loquacious, HUDSON KEMUEL TANNIS.

    The favoured “runner-up” for such fanciful title would, alternatively, go to the redoubtable Deputy Leader (and General Secretary) of the PEOPLE’S POLITICAL PARTY (PPP), STINSON CAMPBELL.

    Beache’s failure to endure and eventually replace and succeed James Fitz-Allan MITCHELL and the NDP is but confirmatory testament to First Prime Minister ROBERT MILTON CATO’s prophetically astute assessment and political determination that my still-beloved ‘country’-man VINCENT-IAN BEACHE’s lack of, of ultimate inadequate, political leadership skills. Even MITCHELL and GONSALVES, in other, more transparent, times have at sundry occasions totally agreed with that “coconut-bat” political evaluation..

    Of course, it is convenient at this sober time, when the one politrickan who benefitted most by that apparently obvious [a la Prime Minister MILTON CATO] lack of political leadership endurance – – – would say nice, and trite, and supposedly ‘charitable’ flatteries about him, and his record.

    The most frankly, genuinely, charitable thing one may perhaps most truthfully say about “VINCENT”, was that HE DID NOT HAVE THE REQUIRED POLITICAL “KILLER-INSTINCT” requisite in that brutal, deceitful, rough and tumble political environment – – – and so blatantly observed in some of his political peers – – – particularly those POLITICAL RIVALS AND ENEMIES lately TURNED POLITICAL “FRIENDS” and (behind-back LAUGHING) ‘allies’ .

    VINCENT-IAN BEACHE was a highly favoured relative political late-starter who squandered his political chits and needlessly surrendered his political crown to his bitter, subversive, political rival – – – perhaps in the forlorn hope that RALPH GONSALVES would eschew his RADICAL, EXTREME, ATHEISTIC, ULTRA-LEFTIST IDEOLOGY – – – which MARXISM-LENINISM, wistful ‘scientific socialism’ this acknowledged [by the entire leadership of the SVG LABOUR PARTY, including Bro. VINCENT BEACHE, and “The STAR” Newspaper organ of the SVLP] “RED WOLF” OF THE CARIBBEAN had strenuously ADVOCATED throughout much of the Eastern Caribbean. All to NO AVAIL. This was the real, deluded, FAILURE of V. I. BEACHE. His WELL-INTENTIONED GAMBIT did NOT pay off. And, the LABOUR PARTY and SVG has had to suffer the sad consequences. Park Hill School young school teacher Vincent Beache would have never, then, take such a FUTILE bet with the honoured dictum :PUT YOUR TRUST IN NO MAN.

    TIME DID TELL. Time has told us all. But, like me cousin Calypso King Mike Ollivierre, “LORD HAVE MERCY”, say: “VINCENTIANS, TEK WAY YUH GET – – – ‘CAUSE IS YOU WHO PUT THEM – – – UP IN CABINET !!!”

    I came not, here, to mourn nor yet praise VINCENT. That I hope to do in another time, occasion and forum.

    THE PRICE OF FREEDOM from COMMUNISM is ETERNAL VIGILANCE.

    No use dey try the MARIJUANA. JA-JA say ALL AH IS WRONG, yes.

    Dem sacrificing the youth and children of SVG on the altar of the idol ‘ALMIGHTY’ DOLLAR — YEP,
    SIR – – – CAESAR’S IMAGE.

    JUST like the Children of Israel DEGENERATED to SACRIFICING their CHILDREN IN THE FIRES TO MOLECH. Same pagan, heathen, IDOLATRY, mi Brethren.

    Where are the HOUSE OF ISRAEL brethren in SVG when we need them?

    Are all Nyabingha in this SACRILIGOUS enslavement to CAESAR’S IMAGE – – – ultimately the YANKEE DOLLAR.

    I have seen the tragic, horrific, destruction and degeneration of the youth an dem over decades of living and working among, and compassionately grounding with the brethren and folk. This end of this political inanity is FATAL, my people. Save yourself from the fires of Molech, Ganja, Dollar-worship, rank Political OPPORTUNISM, and certain NATIONAL UN-DEVELOPMENT, STATE UNDER-DEVELOPMENT, and the SADISTIC DEGENERATIVE DESTRUCTION of a People.

    Let’s keep Vincy NICE . . .

    BUT, not with sensimilia.

    Did VINCENT BEACHE, STINSON CAMPBELL, or HUDSON K. TANNIS favour Ganja?

    The only mentionable Vincy in the mary-jane-legalization camp was my mentor, the ‘young’ Patrick Hughes.

    A luta continua.
    Always.

    Steve Huggins.

    Black Nationalist;
    Amateur Local Historian.

  2. Hashtag Prince says:

    No time for political ramblings and adverse utterances.
    Just pay tribute to an outstanding son of the soil.
    My Condolences to Lady Vida, family and close friends and to the People of SVG.
    May he rest in peace and rise in Glory!

  3. JUST timely for sychophants, band-wagon riders and hangers-on.
    Even dem who ‘rush’ the camera to get in the Communist Comrade’s
    shadow.
    No time for rational thinking. Just do wey “NAPOLEON” say.
    Ello, see THE RETURN OF “ANIMAL FARM” and ilk.
    Just OK THE SELL-OUT.

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