Eustace’s wife, children pay him touching tributes on radio
November 22, 2016
Eustace’s wife, children pay him touching tributes on radio

Supporters of the New Democratic Party (NDP) and well-wishers jammed the telephone lines of Nice Radio yesterday, seeking an opportunity to pay tribute to the man who had led their party for more than 15 years.

Parliamentary colleagues, supporters of the party, members of his staff and others paid touching tribute to Arnhim Eustace, the outgoing Opposition Leader and party president.{{more}}

But none of the tributes were more emotional and heartfelt than those from his wife, son and daughter, all of whom stressed how proud they were of him.

The first to call was Eustace’s son Ajene, who resides in the United States. He said his father had always chosen to do the right thing, as opposed to the easiest thing, without considering personal benefit.

Ajene said as a little boy, he thought his father was a superhero.

“As a man now, watching you over the past 16 odd years, I know you can’t jump a building in a single leap, but I am still in awe of your strength of character and you have borne the onslaught of all types of divisive comments and slurs on our behalf and you have always stood tall and I appreciate you.”

The younger Eustace told his father that he loved him and reminded him that his grandchildren were looking forward to visiting with him.

In her call, his daughter Maia, who resides here in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), said she is “immensely proud” of Arnhim Eustace the political leader and Arnhim Eustace, the moral leader.

“In my estimation, he has been the moral leader of SVG for at least 16 years and he is therefore, one of its parents,” she said.

Clearly emotional, Maia said her father’s record has been one of public service and public achievement and that as he retires, she has one regret.

“I have one regret, going out Daddy, and that is that, you know the saying that until the lions write their own history, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter. I feel that applies here…”

Explaining, she expressed the view that on at least two occasions (2010 and 2015), the majority of Vincentians voted with him in mind as prime minister, which is one of the reasons why the election petitions that were filed by the NDP, challenging the results of the 2015 elections, are so important.

“The record must be accurate,” she stressed.

The Unity Labour Party won eight of the 15 seats in the December 2015 general elections, but the NDP have refused to accept the results, alleging that the election was stolen.

Maia said while it was an honour for her to share her father with the country, it has been frustrating and thanked SVG for giving him back to her whole.

“I look forward to the family life we will have, now that he will be….scaling down on his duties. Daddy, I can’t wait because we have so many plans.

“… I am immensely proud of you…. but I need St Vincent to know that …appearance and substance in Arnhim Eustace have always been the same. And that’s it, Daddy, hurry up and come home please,” Maia said emotionally.

When she called, Eustace’s wife Jennifer said she was welcoming him back home and to his new job on the family’s farm.

“I just want to add my voice to my children and to welcome their father back home fully and to his new job as a farm hand. Beginning Monday morning, he becomes my principal employee, at Euben Farms Ltd. But I want to say that we are very proud of him; we have never been ashamed of him politically.

“…I hope that once again, we will be able to wake up without the phone ringing and go to bed without the phone ringing. And we are looking forward to his coming home; it is nothing to be ashamed of; it is time to retire. So, pack up your bags sir, and come home.”

When he spoke, Eustace described yesterday as a special day for him.

“It is the last day that as president of the NDP I will be … holding this programme.”

He, however, made it clear that he would still be on the air and invited listeners to go to Democrat House on Tuesday night, where he will make a presentation.

“I am asking all of you, as many of you as possible, to come out to Democrat House [Tuesday] evening at 7:30, when I will give my final address as president of the New Democratic Party….”