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Friday, August 19, 2022


A number of Virgin Islands leaders have expressed condolences this week on the passing of former Antiguan Prime Minister and political juggernaut Vere Cornwall Bird, Sr., who died Monday in St. John's at age 89.
"The Caribbean region has lost one of its most provocative and revolutionary leaders," Gov. Charles Turnbull said in a statement released this week. "Vere Bird was the last of the great Caribbean giants on the 20th century.
"On behalf of the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands, I offer our deepest sympathy and condolences to the Government and the people of Antigua-Barbuda, and the family of the late Vere C. Bird," Turnbull said.
Bird, a long- time labor leader, was the moving force behind Antigua-Barbuda gaining its independence from Britain in 1981.
"I was certainly sad to hear of his passing," Lt. Gov. Gerard Luz James II said in a statement. "I had the honor of meeting the Honorable Vere C. Bird in the Parish of All Saints while on a visit to Antigua. I found him to be not only a man of stature, but also one of discipline and compassion in working to bring his country to where it is today."
James also commended Bird's achievements as a labor leader.
"His concern for the working man and woman is legendary, and his improvements to the fields of education and tourism are equally impressive," James said. "He will long be remembered by the people of Antigua and Barbuda for his generosity and tireless efforts to improve the standard of living in his twin-island nation."
Sen. Lorraine Berry also expressed her sympathy.
"Like all political leaders, Mr. Bird had his admirers and detractors, but in whatever category they may be, all must acknowledge Mr. Bird's accomplishments and his goals for his people," Berry said in a statement. "It is in this context and in respect to his service to his people, Mr. Bird deserves a moment of silence as we bow our head in prayer that his soul may rest in peace."

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