The venerable Sir Selvyn Walter was laid to rest today, October 12, following an official funeral service at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground that was attended by family, friends, Government officials and other dignitaries.
The former Parliamentarian passed away at his home, at the age of 84, on September 14. Paying tribute to Sir Selvyn this morning, former Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer spoke of the impact the renowned journalist and author had on his life.
He says he and Sir Selvyn became acquainted in the late 1960s, in the “height and in the heat of the famous 1967 split in the labour movement.”
As a young man coming to grips with the issues of the day, Spencer says he was approached by Walter to join his campaign against then Premier Vere C. Bird Sr. in the Rural West constituency.
Spencer says the young politician was not daunted by the immense influence that Bird wielded in the constituency then. Instead, he was very optimistic that he could defeat the Premier – and went on to do so.
Spencer also credits Walter’s convincing oratorical skills for his own gravitation to the political arena.
A former representative of Rural West, himself, Spencer says Walter was instrumental in having the national garbage dump removed from the Green Bay community. He also credits him with the formation of Halcyon Steel Orchestra, with the assistance of the Kirby brothers.
Walter received a knighthood, one of the country’s highest honours, on November 1, 2013, during the celebration of the country’s 32nd anniversary of Independence.
Spencer says that Sir Selvyn’s overall contribution to Antigua and Barbuda and the region is immeasurable, and he played his many roles with dignity and selflessness.