January 16, 2011
Honourable Reuben Meade
Chief Minister of Montserrat
Montserrat Government Headquarters
Montserrat, West Indies
Re: Absence from the Funeral/Memorial Service for Hon. Dr. John Osborne
Honourable Chief Minister,
I present my compliments and express to you, Sir, to the entire family of Honourable Dr. John Osborne, including his widow and children, and to the Government and people of Montserrat, the sincerest sympathies of the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ALP), and all supporters of the ALP. The loss of the Honourable Dr. John Osborne is felt by all the people of Antigua and Barbuda, the CARICOM region and beyond.
Over the past months, I have been troubled by a very painful disc at the base of my spine. During this coming week, I will be leaving for the United States in order to undergo surgery. The pain is excruciating. I am therefore unable to be present at the farewell service planned for your former Chief Minister.
Nevertheless, I feel such a strong bond between us that I am compelled, following an invitation to speak, to submit a short statement which captures my sentiments and that of the political party which I lead. It is thus my request that the attached statement be delivered at some appropriate moment during the planned farewell service for the Honourable Dr. John Osborne.
Please forgive my absence during this period of mourning when the eyes of the people of Montserrat are filled with tears for their departed son. Do let the people of Montserrat know that we feel their grief and suffer their loss. The entire Caribbean region has been made poorer by the death of one of our greatest statesmen.
I thank you for your many courtesies, Chief Minister, and take this opportunity to reiterate assurances of my highest esteem and consideration.
Hon. Lester Bryant Bird
Leader of the Opposition & Former Prime Minister
January 16, 2011