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Grenada Revolution Memorial Foundation tribute to Dr Winston Thomas

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Tribute by Dr Winston Thomas who passed away on 27 July 2019 and whose funeral service was held at the St George’s Anglican Church on 23 August 2019.

To borrow from the apt words of one of America’s greatest civil rights leaders, Dr Martin Luther King Jr, “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity…The quality, not the longevity, of one’s life is what’s important.”

These words capture the philosophy and life of our dear departed friend, revolutionary brother and comrade, Dr Winston “Tommy” Thomas – a selfless and hardworking patriot, especially committed to the cause of the poor and suffering, who always put service above self in his ongoing life’s mission to build a new and just society

The Grenada Revolution Memorial Foundation (GREMFO) joins with the multiplicity of other organisations in mourning the loss and celebrating the life of this focused, disciplined and undisputed people’s doctor, gone much too soon, but who has left his unmistakable footprints in the sands of time.

Played leading role

Dr Winston Thomas has been an integral part of the life of GREMFO, formally incorporated in 2014 to promote and preserve the positive aspects of the 13 March 1979 Revolution, learning from its failures and embracing its successes; to encourage objective and balanced debate about this very significant part of Grenada’s history; and to foster reconciliation among our people

Indeed, for more than 25 years Dr Thomas, a beneficiary of one of the hundreds of scholarships to study in Cuba during the Revolution, has played a leading role to mark this important period of Grenada’s history.

In 1994, Dr Thomas was part of the then team organising the 15th Anniversary of the Grenada Revolution with activities throughout the country, under the theme “March 13th Is Our History”. He was involved in planning and executing the several events which included a major Health Fair in Sauteurs; community projects throughout the island, including the cleaning of beaches, the painting of schools, and the painting and general brightening up of Sendall Tunnel in the city; radio and TV programmes; a radio quiz; and community educational events.

One remembers, in particular, the massive and impressive health fair at the Sauteurs Health Centre (built by the revolution), during which scores of persons from St Patrick and surrounding areas received free medical attention. Up to that time it was one of the largest health fairs ever staged in that parish, and possibly Grenada. Dr Thomas and his team mobilised several Cuban trained doctors, both specialists and general practitioners – all beneficiaries of scholarships – to give their services free of cost to the Grenadian people. It was a particularly impressive event, spanning from early morning – with people gathering from as early as 4 am – to late night, throughout the day, with the health centre abuzz with activities organised and led by our stalwart doctors Raphael ‘Carib’ John, David Lambert and Winston Thomas. Not only did people benefit from medical services on that day, but several of our specialists made arrangements for attendees to do follow-up visits.

In 2019, 25 years later and just mere months before his untimely passing, Dr Thomas was again a key player in activities to mark the 40th Anniversary of the Revolution. He was a member of the 40th Anniversary Celebrations Committee with direct responsibility for organising the medical component of the activities. Again, he delivered. He himself travelled throughout the country, utilising his vacation leave in March, to beef up medical support at health centres as part of his own contribution towards the 40th-anniversary activities. In true Tommy style, he gave selflessly.

The three People’s Doctors

There are many things in common with the names Raphael ‘Carib’ John, David Lambert and Winston Thomas, all of whom have passed on to the great beyond: they were all beneficiaries of medical scholarships during the revolution; they all gave back selflessly, over and above the call of duty, to the people of Grenada after successfully completing their studies; they all brought hope to people; they all continued to live the ideals of the revolution through their life’s work and service in the medical field and beyond.

GREMFO is already considering for 13 March activities next year the formation of the Dr Raphael John Medical Brigade, the Dr David Lambert Medical Brigade and the Dr Winston Thomas Medial Brigade – three medical brigades named after three outstanding Peoples’ Doctors – each to go into at least one community, for a start, to provide free medical services during the month of March. The legacies of our peoples’ doctors must continue to live on and provide constant inspiration to our professionals to serve humanity well.

Extraordinary human being

Dr Winston Thomas was an extraordinary human being. It is said that no one is indispensable; when you are gone someone else simply replaces you. No doubt a regular doctor can always replace another regular doctor or other professional. But Winston Thomas is irreplaceable, at least not immediately. He was no regular doctor. He comes from a special rare breed where, in the midst of a world predominantly concerned with material wealth, he gave selflessly, concerned less with material wealth, and more with caring for people, keeping them healthy and prolonging and saving their lives.

Apart from his outstanding and selfless service in the medical field, Tommy played a critical role in community and national life, being part of several organisations, political and otherwise.

It is said that the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy (Dr Martin Luther King Jr). Tommy never abandoned his comrades in their hour of need. He was there in good and bad times, as so many have attested to. He stood for principle. His was a consistent and distinctive voice on TV and Radio stations, engaging in political and social debate; identifying shortcomings and hailing successes; and promoting countless causes. Though firm in his own views, he was always tolerant and respectful to the views of others.

Left the world a better place

GREMFO salutes this simple, humble, extraordinary and selfless human being. Though gone too soon at 59, he has completed much more than a normal life’s quota of work. He has paid more than his debt to humanity. Let his life’s work be an inspiration to others to give more, to help the disadvantaged, to contribute more to the development of the country and region, and, indeed, just simply make the world a better place.

Tommy has certainly left the world a better place. Since his untimely passing, you continue to hear the many stories of persons whom he has assisted, either themselves or their families, rising to the occasion, whether day or night, on duty or off duty. He symbolised sacrifice. He neither blew his trumpet nor compared himself with others.

Be comforted and inspired

To his mom, sons, siblings and other family members – we all share your pain, and we extend to you our deepest sympathy. Be forever comforted, though, that Winston Thomas lived a full, productive and complete life, and has left a legacy that will forever remain etched in the hearts and minds of all whom he touched. Be inspired by the words of the great South African freedom fighter Nelson Mandela: “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”

Thank you, Tommy! Yours was a life of richness, not in material terms, but in the enduring sense of your love, care, and compassion for human beings, whatever their station in life. Though gone physically your spirit and memory will continue to live on. Thank you for the countless lives you have touched; thank you for your hard work, commitment and sacrifice: thank you, Tommy, for your service to humanity.

Rest in peace dear brother and comrade!

Grenada Revolution Memorial Foundation Inc

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Caribbean & World

Breaking News: Twely Joseph guilty of Capital Murder

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by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada

A 12-member jury this evening found 19-year-old Twely Joseph guilty of Capital Murder in the death of 8-year-old Ariel Bolah of Frequente, St George.

Joseph is expected to be sentenced on 31 January 2020.

Complete story to follow.

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Peter David meets with UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation

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by Linda Straker

  • Support for dialysis machine for Grenada’s General Hospital discussed
  • Grenada has consulate and diplomatic representation in Dubai
  • Participated in third Expo 2020 Preparatory Meeting

Foreign Affairs Minister, Honourable Peter David, from 28-29 November was in Dubai and met with Minister Reem Ebrahim Al Hashimi who is the UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation, as well as the managing director for Expo 2020.

The two ministers, among other matters, discussed support for a dialysis machine for Grenada’s General Hospital and Dubai’s contribution to assist in financing Grenada’s participation and delegation to attend the expo.

While in Dubai, Minister David also held bilateral meetings with other officials of the Dubai Government, during which the parties agreed on close cooperation during the preparatory work and during the Expo 2020 exhibition, which, according to the Minister, will see Grenada on full display. Grenada and The UAE already have strong ties, for a relatively new relationship.

The UAE has stepped up in the last five or so years, to show their support for Grenada’s development. This was demonstrated through their huge grant donation to assist with the rebuilding of Grenada’s premier democratic institution, the Houses of Parliament, which was opened in June 2018.

Grenada even has a consulate and diplomatic representation in Dubai now. So, the relationship is definitely growing, and the UAE has a strong commitment to ensuring that developing countries, such as Grenada, fully benefit from the World Expo 2020.

While in Dubai last week, Minister David, and Shanta Cox, of the Ministry of International Business, also participated in the third Expo Preparatory Meeting, which was held over the two days.

More than 15 local manufacturers have already registered with the Grenada committee to attend the Expo, which will run from October 2020 to March 2021. International Business Minister Nickolas Steele said that Grenada will be having its own booth/pavilion for the Dubai event. Previously Grenada’s products were displayed with the Caricom booth.

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Grenada represented at CDEMA’s annual CDM conference in Sint Maarten

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A five-member team is representing Grenada at the eleventh Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) annual Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) conference in Sint Maarten.

The conference is held under the theme, “The Road to Resilience Checkpoint 2019 – Safeguarding Our Communities, Livelihoods and Economies.”

The team consists of Acting Disaster Management Coordinator Supt. Sylvan Mc Intyre; Youth Representative Donte Mc Gillivary from Carriacou; Jamilla Lewis-Samuel, Communication Supervisor, NAWASA and two members from the Youth Emergency Action Committee (YEAC).

McIntyre said the conference provides an opportunity for disaster managers across the CDEMA framework to reflect and review the just-concluded hurricane season, analysing lessons learnt, best practices and identifying strengths and weaknesses.

“It is also a platform for showcasing disaster risk reduction initiatives, new equipment, new ideas and new spectrum for ensuring that we prepare for disaster and the events in the Caribbean that can affect us negatively,” Mc Intyre said.

One of the highlights of the conference is youth involvement. The youth representatives from the region will be engaged in debates, tours, school visits explaining to students and their peer’s aspects of Comprehensive Disaster Management.

The youth representatives are expected to be ambassadors in sharing the message of comprehensive disaster management in their respective countries.

The conference which has attracted over 400 representatives from across the region will conclude on Friday.

About the CDM Conference

The CDM Conference is the Caribbean region’s premier event on Disaster Risk Management and is hosted in collaboration with the Government of Sint Maarten. Over the years, the CDM Conference has showcased best practices emerging from CDEMA’s 18 participating states.

The event has also provided a space for the convening of professional development sessions for DRM Practitioners, Planners, Environmental Scientists, among others, within the CDEMA Participating States as well as stakeholders beyond our region. It has emerged as a platform for the engagement of niche groups/sectors in the DRM dialogue, physical planners, meteorologists, climate change stakeholders, researchers, educators and public and private financial experts; facilitated inter-stakeholder exchanges/networking and new policy ideas. As such, the CDM conference is viewed as an important mechanism for stakeholder engagement and intersectoral exchanges

For additional information, please contact Oslyn Crosby Public Relations Officer NaDMA on 440-8390-4 & 440-0838, cell: 533-0766, or email: nadma@spiceisle.com and nadmapr@gmail.com .

NaDMA, the official source for all disaster-related information in Grenada. 

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