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MP for Central Kingstown, St. Clair Leacock speaking in Parliament on Thursday, May 9, 2024.
MP for Central Kingstown, St. Clair Leacock speaking in Parliament on Thursday, May 9, 2024.
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Central Kingstown MP Leacock St. Clair Leacock today (Thursday) appeared to fight back tears as he paid tribute in Parliament to his lover, Journet Monique Baptiste, with whom he had an extra-marital relationship for about 20 years.

Baptiste died in Leacock’s vehicle on April 1 and was buried in April 21 after a funeral in which Leacock spoke candidly about their relationship.

Leacock, a vice president of the main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP), who is married for about 40 years, began his tribute in Parliament on Thursday by reading from “The Little Book of Wisdom for Men” which he said Baptiste had given to him.

“‘Truth is the beginning of every good thing both in heaven and on earth’,” Leacock said during the “Obituaries” segment of the sitting.  

He said the obituary might be remembered “more for what I did not say than what I will say”.

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Leacock said he and Baptiste met nearly 20 years ago as friends and over those years, she “played an important role in my personal life.

“She contributed significantly to my private business, Vincy Clean Floor Maintenance Services Ltd., virtually as an administrative assistant, took over all the personnel matters. They (employees) will go to her for their loans and to soft-soak her when they didn’t want disciplinary action to be taken,” Leacock told Parliament.

He said Baptiste dealt with the National Insurance Services and statutory regulations that the company had to comply with.

She also chose the company’s uniforms, “did the purchasing, holiday matters and generally looked over the company in a way that allowed me to do other things.

“And there’s no doubt that the brand and the success that the company enjoys today owes her a debt of gratitude as she attended to the thing that allowed my children abroad to live a more comfortable life.”

Leacock said that in politics, Baptiste helped him to win Green Hill, “where she was well loved”, adding that she became chairperson of Central Kingstown Women’s Arm of the NDP and an important member of the NDP’s Women’s Arm.

“She took care of the old, elderly and infirm in the constituency and provided them with what they needed, whether it was pampers whether it was toiletries, skin cream, nutriments. She did all of that.

“She was very versed with the representation of the People’s Act, became a trainer of trainers to take care of our agents who performed duties on election day and in other technological assistance to the constituency, to the party,” Leacock said.

He told Parliament that Baptiste was “long in politics” before they met as she was from Riley and was “one of those who believed in being on those trucks in those days when we did those Island tours.

“She never missed a political meeting that I attended and always was a good guide to my contributions. There’s no doubt that the New Democratic Party is better off for the contribution that she made.”

Journet Baptiste 2
The deceased, Journet Baptiste.

Leacock said Baptiste “did much” in his personal life.

“My supplements, my prostate care, my eye, my vision, my eating. She even took me off of one of my favourite beverages over the Lenten season. And I haven’t returned to it since and may never,” he said in an apparent reference to a popular stout about which he has repeatedly spoken publicly.  

“She was a fountain of strength in much of what I did and I’m a better person for her having contributed to me and my own family life. Yes, even when my mother was ill and I took her in my care, [she] played a pivotal role in seeing that my mother was well attended to and I leave it at there.”

Leacock said Baptiste’s death is something he “will never forget and will live with for the rest of my life”.

He said that Baptiste died holding his hand on the way to the hospital.

“I remember three things distinctly.  She asked for oxygen, she asked for forgiveness of all those she may have harmed or hurt, she asked the good Lord to have mercy on her soul and, with my prompting, to accept her Lord and Saviour. I’m sure she made it in through the pearly gates.”

Leacock said the last four or five years of Baptiste’s life were “tough and challenging.

“You had polycystic kidney failure. We tried to get a kidney transplant, actually identified a donor, but then her body rejected it,” Leacock said.

“I even lost a key man in my business because of that. Because he had a change of heart as to whether he should be involved in this donation business and buss it, as we would say in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”

He said that through her suffering, however, Baptiste “remained a good and decent soul.

“I refer to her as a soul mate, unapologetically. I shall miss her because she made that difference to the quality of my life,” he said and went on to read quotations they shared from the book Positive Thinking.

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2 Comments

  1. This is a quite moving testimony to the loving relationship between two persons. Mr. Leacock, please accept my condolences and dig deep for the strength to carry-on without your soul-mate. May the Good Lord Rest her soul.

    Reply

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