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Press Release


  September 17, 2007

Amidst the outpouring of tributes to the life and times of the late Saint Lucian Prime Minister Sir John Compton, the Washington-based Organization of American States (OAS) has eulogized the late Caribbean leader as “a dedicated, sincere and loyal son of the Caribbean and a genuine integrationist.” Sir John Compton died last Friday night at the age of 82, following a series of strokes beginning in May.

Ambassador Albert R. Ramdin, the OAS Assistant Secretary General, traveled today to Saint Lucia to represent the Organization at Tuesday’s funeral services for Sir John, remembering him as “a highly principled and, at the same time, very practical, politician.” Having worked closely with him on efforts to help resolve threats to democracy in Haiti and in observing Guyana’s August 2006 presidential elections, Ambassador Ramdin also singled out Compton’s historic role in the path to nationhood for Saint Lucia and in its development as an island state.

Ramdin made special mention of Compton’s “tireless efforts in the interest of regional integration in the Caribbean, especially with regard to the unity of the small states of the Eastern Caribbean.” He said that, above all, Compton was a man of the people whose very action was guided by humility and an abiding love for his country and his region.

“The fact that he died in office, when most others would have been enjoying a well-earned retirement, gives you the measure of the man, his energy and his overwhelming sense of duty,” Ramdin said of Compton, who had come out of retirement to lead the United Workers Party to victory in general elections in Saint Lucia last December.

John George Melvin Compton led Saint Lucia to independence from Britain on February 22, 1979, having previously led the island to associated statehood. Chief Minister from 1964 to 1967, Premier from 1967 to 1979 and the first Prime Minister of the independent Saint Lucia, Compton again became Prime Minister from 1982 to 1996, before returning to the helm of government after last December’s elections.

Reference: E-225/07