A housing project should be named for former head of HLDC – PM
February 5, 2013

A housing project should be named for former head of HLDC – PM

A housing project should be named for former head of the Housing and Lands Development Corporation (HLDC), Morris Linston Slater, who died recently, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves has suggested.{{more}}

“I don’t know what we are going to do in symbolic remembrance of him, but I don’t think we can do anything less than either naming the housing project in Green Hill or Clare Valley, Slater Village,” Gonsalves said at Slater’s funeral at the St George’s Cathedral on Thursday.

“He has to have permanent presence in our consciousness,” the prime minister further said.

Slater, 65, passed away in New York on January 15, reportedly of stomach cancer.

He was an engineer and architect and took up duties with the HLDC in 2007, after managing a design/build company here from 2002.

Gonsalves described Slater as a “confidant” and an “advisor” to him, who he said prevented him from making many errors.

The prime minister said Slater “almost single-handedly” directed the housing recovery after Hurricane Tomas damaged over 1,000 homes in 2010.

Gonsalves also said that Slater, before leaving for New York late last year, had over 700 persons employed on the housing programmes, building and repairing homes.

“He put the machinery in place. He went all over the place. He supervised. It did not matter if you were supporting ULP (Unity Labour Party), NDP (New Democratic Party), Green Party or no party…” Gonsalves said.

A choked up Gonsalves said, “He was a remarkable professional … I love him. I love him dearly. I miss him so much. He was a good man. He was a good human being…”

The service saw a packed Cathedral, with Slater’s children and a number of government officials paying their final respects.

Governor General Sir Frederick Ballantyne, Commissioner of Police Keith Miller, Director of Public Prosecutions Colin Williams, the Prime Minister’s wife, Eloise Gonsalves, and other close family members and friends attended the funeral.

Special tributes were done by Slater’s cousin, Joseph “Burns” Bonadie, Denise Harold and a song was rendered by his friend, Leroy Creese.

Slater’s son, Shaka, paid tribute by reading a poem, while Slater’s cousin, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sen. Douglas Slater delivered the eulogy.

The Reverend Patrick McIntosh, dean and rector of the Cathedral, delivered the homily.

The celebrant was led by the Right Rev. C. Leopold Friday, The Very Right Rev. Patrick McIntosh and The Right Rev. Cannon O. Samuel Nichols.

Slater was buried at the Chauncey cemetery.