IN ONE OF his last conversations with his youngest son, Sir Vincent Beache expressed his belief that he would have been a good prime minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Glen Beache, the chief executive officer of the SVG Tourism Authority, spoke briefly at his father’s funeral on Monday afternoon and gave the congregation a glimpse into some of the last moments he was able to spend with his father.
“This is arguable the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I really did not want to speak today but my mother asked me to. My father did not want any tributes and I wondered what I would say. I was angry. I still am angry at the loss of my father. In April, when we realised how sick he was, we were told he had three to six months and as the Prime Minister said, after he began to deteriorate, I wanted the suffering to stop and kept on saying to the Lord, this can’t be right for anybody to go through this sort of suffering,” Beache said.
He said that this country got the best of his father, who as a politician dedicated a large portion of his life to serve and represent the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Sir Vincent Beache is the third longest serving parliamentarian of this country after Sir James Mitchell and Ebenezer Theodore Joshua. He held the office of Leader of the Opposition for two terms and acted as prime minister on several occasions.
The statesman was the first political leader of the Unity Labour Party and even after retiring from representational politics, he worked closely with the government and was advisor to the Prime Minister and held leadership positions at several state entities.
“In one of the discussions, we spoke about him not becoming prime minister, because 1998 was a very tough loss and my father always believed that if you lost an election, as a leader, you offer your resignation. Your party might not accept it, but you offer it because it means the people don’t want you as their leader,” Beache said.
“And I said, how well do you think you would have done as Prime Minister? He said he has no doubt that he would’ve been
a good prime minister, but make no mistake that arguably, his best political move was handing over the leadership to the honourable Prime Minister.”
He said that having notice of his father’s death allowed for his parents to apologise to each other and discuss things that they would not have discussed before.
Beache also said that the families of those in politics tend to make sacrifices.
“His dedication to this country was undeniable for he and I only became close when I would say I was around the age of 20 because as much as it’s an honour to represent people from different constituencies, representing St Vincent and the Grenadines, it is a sacrifice that politicians make and sometimes we don’t see it that way. But more than the sacrifice politicians make, their families make a bigger sacrifice,” he said.
The CEO, who served first as a senator then as parliamentary representative for South Windward for one term, said that his father’s advice when he accepted the position of senator was that he should stay far away from politics.
He thanked persons present at the funeral and said that it would have been easy for him to be negative in his remarks because of the things that have been said about his father.
The grieving son chose to end his remarks encouraging everyone to respect each other, regardless of their differing views.
“I have a lovely daughter by the name of Sovann, who Camillo calls Camille. Beautiful young lady but she’s autistic. What hurts me when it comes to Sovann is when other children are mean to her, they don’t understand. What hurts me even more, children have an innocent meanness about them; sometimes they don’t know better. What gets to me is when those parents of those children say nothing. Same goes for politics. Not because they’re your supporters, you let them say anything. You correct them when they’re wrong. Respect each other no matter what,” Beache said.