Born in the 20th century, Sir Vincent Ian Beache is one of the towering figures in our history and one of the most distinguished personalities, not only in our country, but in the region.
That is how Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves described Sir Vincent yesterday while announcing that the former politician will be given a state funeral.
Sir Vincent, one of this country’s longest serving politicians, died at 3:10 Monday morning at his home at Spring Estate, one week short of his 88th birthday.
“The government and people of St Vincent and the Grenadines will provide a very dignified send off as befitting our civilisation.
“He will be accorded a state funeral. He will be given all the requisite honours at his burial because of his outstanding service, including as Leader of the Opposition,” Prime Minister Gonsalves told listeners to NBC radio on Monday evening via telephone from Taiwan.
“He is one of the most successful political figures in our history. He is the best prime minister we never had. He was my dear friend and comrade and I will miss him dearly,” said Gonsalves who owes his ascension to leadership of the country partly to Sir Vincent.
“Giants like these, when they pass, a void is left,” said Gonsalves of Sir Vincent who he said was involved in many struggles for the betterment of Vincentians.
“He was a very progressive nationalist, anti-imperialist and an advanced social democrat who looked out for the poor and the working people and the nation as a whole. A man who sought to unite people,” an emotional Gonsalves told listeners.
The Prime Minister said he last saw Sir Vincent on Saturday evening before he left for Taiwan and he had hoped that Sir Vincent would have made it to his 88th birthday on August 13.
“He was quite ill, and I was expecting his passing although I had told him to fight it until August 13th when he would have been 88,” said Gonsalves.
He said Sir Vincent, his very close friend, was a just man who loved mercy and walked humbly with God.