HARTFORD — Hartford-area Bajan-Americans have joined in the mourning of the Prime Minister of Barbados, David Thompson.
Thompson died Saturday at age 48 of pancreatic cancer. He is reportedly the third prime minister of Barbados who has died while in office.
Denzil Douglas, the prime minister of another Caribbean country named St. Kitts and Nevis, told the BBC that Thompson’s death was a loss to “not only the people of Barbados, but also the people of the Caribbean.”
Deputy Prime Minister Freundel Stewart was sworn in as Thompson’s successor hours after his death, according to the state-run Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).
According to government officials, Thompson had served in government since 1991, and his main priorities were decentralizing government, strengthening social services and empowering the Barbadian economy.
“Barbados has lost its loyal son and faithful servant before he had the time to realize his lifetime dreams. … We enjoyed and endured his public service experiences. He was always indebted to the people and the party for affording him the opportunity to see the mountain top,” Thompson’s wife, Marie-Josephine Mara said in a statement to the CBC.
Born on Christmas Day in 1961 in London and one of seven siblings, Thompson grew up in Barbados. He is survived by his wife and three daughters.