Parliamentarians pay tribute to Morris Slater
January 18, 2013

Parliamentarians pay tribute to Morris Slater

As tributes pour in, following the passing of Morris Slater, the chief executive officer of the Housing and Land Development Corporation, parliamentarians spoke of the man most of them had come into contact with, in some way, as they worked on behalf of their constituents over the years.{{more}}

SEARCHLIGHT visited the House of Assembly on Wednesday, and spoke with some of the parliamentarians. Other parliamentarians paid their tribute in the House.

SENATOR ELVIS CHARLES: When I just got into politics, he helped me to get my feet on the ground in my constituency. We worked together on the Green Hill Housing project. He was the “go to guy” in the ministry. His job was one that I did not envy. I would not have the belly to do what he did.

SABOTO CAESAR, MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORMER MINISTER OF HOUSING: St Vincent and the Grenadines has definitely lost one of its best sons of the soil. Morris Slater had a special ability to deal and to work with every person; that was his gift.

He was also blessed with an excellent intellect, in that he was both an architect and an engineer, very humble about it, but a very practical man of affairs. He had a special love for charity and for goodwill and I am certain that any single individual who came into contact with Morris Slater would be able to attest to these facts. I would sincerely miss him personally, since he was not only a work colleague, but also a very personal friend.

GIRLYN MIGUEL, DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER, MINISTER OF EDUCATION:I really feel sad about his passing. I remember when (Hurricane) Tomas came, in particular, he would have done many other things for us in terms of the buildings. When Tomas hit us and the schools were used as shelters, we spoke with him and he was very willing to retrofit the community centre in Georgetown so we could have had the families out of the schools and we could get the schools for the children to learn their lessons.

He was somebody once you asked him a favour, and it was in the power of his hands to do it, he would do it without reserve, and we would really, really miss him. What is most touching is his willingness to help.

DANIEL CUMMINGS, MP FOR WEST KINGSTOWN: My interaction with him was very little, but all quite positive. He was not a typical human being; he was a person with a very big heart and certainly a decent human being. All I have heard and all my experiences with him are indeed positive.

CECIL MCKIE, MINISTER OF TOURISM AND CULTURE: He would be sadly missed. It is a great loss to St Vincent and the Grenadines. He was the powerhouse of a public servant. His doors were always open to just about anyone who had challenges or wanted clarification on any issue. Morris brought a personal touch to the Housing and Land Development Corporation, and when you look at the achievement of that unit, you must agree that with the aggressive housing program that they have going, that programme would have touched the lives of thousands of Vincentians directly and indirectly.

CLAYTON BURGIN, MINISTER OF HEALTH, FORMER MINISTER OF HOUSING: To me, Morris Slater was one in a million, and I will miss him greatly. I have never met a more caring, generous and genuine individual. He was the classic individual who would go all out of his way to help anyone.

I remember before I was Minister of Health, a few times I would have heard complaints about the hospital and being the minister of housing, I would have said to Morris let’s go down to the hospital and see what is the concern, and Morris would go and check every facet there and then he would go back to his office and analyze what could be done.

This one hit me as when a close family member passes on… he was like a brother to me.

SENATOR DAVID BROWNE: I knew Morris for two years. He was a man who would pay people out of his pocket until the government pay. If funds are late coming to his department, he will take his money and pay. It’s over a thousand homes were built under Morris. He corrected so much engineering problems.

ST CLAIRE LEACOCK, MP FOR CENTRAL KINGSTOWN: St Vincent has just lost a most decent, talented, practical Vincentian-centered humane, industrious enterprising person. …I got to know the gentleman in the late 1980s. I had gone to the United States to go to college… I was not in the best of health and I did not have all the monies then to do so. Maurice Slater was determined that I should complete that MSc in Management at the time. He loaned me his gold card, and taught me to sign his name and encouraged me on paying of debt, not to leave the United States of America. That is Morris Slater for you.