Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet, today paid tribute to the late Honourable Sir Derek Alton Walcott, saying that his death was a great loss to Saint Lucia and the world.
He stated that the names Sir Derek Walcott and Sir Arthur Lewis stand tall in Saint Lucia’s history.
Chastanet said the late Walcott’s name was a household one in this country.
“When everyone speaks about excellence in Saint Lucia and describe Saint Lucia with any kind of superlatives, clearly the two names that stand tall in Saint Lucia’s history are those of Sir Arthur Lewis and Sir Derek Walcott,” the Prime Minister stated.
He described Walcott of being there all the time, making himself available and participating in many national events.
“He continued to fly the flag real high,” Chastanet said.
Chastanet said he knows that this is a difficult time for Walcott’s family even though the death seemed inevitable.
He expressed his deepest sympathy to the family and all the people who have collaborated with the late Sir Derek Walcott over the years, especially in the Caribbean.
“While he and I may not have agreed on everything, he was always very consistent and very emotional about being Caribbean and being original,” Chastanet stated.
“We can now sit back and reflect on his achievements which are so incredible,” Chastanet told reporters today, adding that Walcott has made Saint Lucians and Caribbean people very proud.
He disclosed that in recognition of the statesman that Walcott was, the government of Saint Lucia has decided to fly flags at half mast, at least until Tuesday.
“I am in discussion with his wife, his partner, Sigrid and also in discussion with the artistic community here in Saint Lucia of what other tributes we can pay to this icon of a man,” Chastanet said.
He observed that it was with a heavy heart that that deepest sympathy is expressed to Sigrid and the Walcott family.