This site will look much better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Skip to Content

Speech in Senate Chamber: Senator Cools pays tribute to the late Sir Harold Bernard St. John of Barbados on his passing.

Hon. Anne C. Cools: Honourable senators, I rise to pay tribute to a native son of Barbados who, at age 72, died a few days ago on February 29 after a long and heroic struggle with cancer. I pay tribute to Sir Harold Bernard St. John, a distinguished Barbadian parliamentarian for about 40 years and Prime Minister of Barbados from 1985 to 1986.

Honourable senators, Sir Harold had been a lawyer, a Queen's Counsel, a member of parliament, a senator, leader of the opposition, and prime minister. In 1994, he received one of Barbados highest national honours. He was knighted, becoming Harold Bernard St. John, Knight of St. Andrew.

On March 8, 2004, the Government of Barbados accorded Sir Harold a state funeral at Christ Church Parish Church in the constituency he had represented faithfully for many years. At this funeral, Minister of Foreign Affairs Billie Miller spoke about him, saying:

This was the nature of the man, he stayed the course. He possessed great strength and purpose of character. His personal integrity and standards were set at the highest levels, the same levels at which his indomitable courage and unflagging commitment were fixed.

Honourable senators, the Honourable Billie Miller, also a Dame, is my cousin; her father and my mother were brother and sister.

Honourable senators, Sir Harold was a stalwart and unflinching patriot. Throughout his professional life, he established and maintained a record for forthrightness and honesty. He had a wide sense of the law and of the constitution. His unwavering cause was Caribbean integration, cooperation and development.

Sir Harold leaves behind his wife, Lady Stella, their son Bryte, and their two daughters, Charmaine and Nicole, and their grandchildren. To them and to all his family and friends I offer my best wishes and prayers at this time. I convey my sympathies to the Government of Barbados and to all Barbadians at home and abroad.

In tribute to Sir Harold, known to Barbadian people as "Bree," I cite St. Paul, 2 Timothy chapter 4, verses 7 and 8 of the King James version:

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

Honourable senators should also be aware that our Speaker of the Senate attended the state funeral in Barbados. I have no doubt that the people of Barbados were deeply honoured that the Speaker of the Senate carried out that duty on behalf of all the people of Canada.

The remainder of this day's Senate Debates are available here.