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Air Jamaica and friends pay tribute to the late Sir John Compton

MIAMI – Air Jamaica joined the international tribute to the life and legacy of St. Lucia’s Prime Minister Sir John Melvin Compton who died in Castries, St. Lucia on Friday.

A lawyer and vocal champion of the cause of the impoverished working class, Sir John was remembered by George deMercado, Air Jamaica’s Vice President of Sales, as a regionalist and the “Father of the nation of St. Lucia” which under his leadership was “transformed into a modern, progressive country of which the Caribbean should be extremely proud”.

Sir John Compton

“We have lost one of the Caribbean’s pioneering heroes,” reflected deMercado from Miami this afternoon, who described Sir John as “a true Caribbean visionary who has left an indelible mark in Caribbean history and provided a roadmap for the sustainable development of St. Lucia”.

“Our staff at Air Jamaica send our deepest sympathy to Sir John’s family, the St. Lucian government, and St. Lucians the world over during this difficult time,” said deMercado.

Speaking from Washington DC, Lelei LeLaulu, president of Counterpart International which works on sustainable development with Air Jamaica and the St. Lucia government, said “island states everywhere mourn the loss of a revered elder and a statesman of historic proportions.” LeLaulu announced his organisation will remember Sir John during this month’s World Leadership Awards in New York where St. Lucian Senator Allen Chastanet, Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, will be recognised by the international community.

Senator Chastanet said the passing of Sir John signifies the end of a major era. “I am very grateful that I had so many opportunities in my life to have worked with him and to have benefited from his philosophy and his foresight. His humility and absolute loyalty to the development of St. Lucia and its people are unquestionable in my mind and the minds of so many other people.”

Dr. Basil Springer, Chairman of Counterpart Caribbean in Barbados, said it is with deep regret that he learned of Sir John’s passing and sympathizes with his family and the people of St. Lucia on the loss of such a stalwart leader. “Sir John was an elderly statesman with a bundle of energy as was manifested by his return to politics having served his country in public office for several decades. His successful return to lead the United Workers Party into an election victory made international headlines and underscored his commitment to the upliftment of the people of St. Lucia from all walks of life,” he said.

A committee under the Chairmanship of Former Prime Minister Dr. Bryan Michael Pilgrim has been formed to plan the funeral arrangements. In observance of the passing of the 82 year-old Sir John, the nation will observe a period of mourning for two weeks.

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