THE life of late Joseph Onesimus ‘Johnny’ Tudor III was cele- brated yesterday morning when family and friends gathered at the Chapel of the Coral Ridge Memorial Gardens to pay tribute to the former Member of Parliament and Minister of Govern- ment.
The father of five was
remembered as a brave and generous man, loving dad and loyal friend. Delivering the eulogy, long-time friend Wendell Callender said Tudor, who lived his life with “an aura of invincibility”, had an illustrious professional and civic career. It included, he said, involvement in the airline industry, the labour movement, the disabled community, cultural industry, sports, and national politics. In the latter role, he served as the Member of Parliament for St. Michael East from 1991 to 1999.
“His leadership in these areas has left an indelible [mark]… He seemed to be imbued with a spirit of nationalism, which steered nearly every major move he made. Though filled with a sense of humour, he committed himself fully to every task he set himself,” Callender said.
He added, “Joseph Tudor was in many ways, a chip off the old block, as he seemed to possess a love for community work, just like his well-known dad Joe Tudor, who traversed the island as a popular radio personality to bring joy to many persons.”
Callender spoke of the late Tudor’s role on the Barbados Board of Tourism as Chairman of the Public Relations Committee, noting that the slogan ‘Tourism is Our Business, Let’s Play our Part’, was credited to his tenure. He added that Tudor was also committed to helping to raise awareness about disabilities and willingly joined members of the disabled community to march in Bridgetown.
“Once Johnny became a Member of Parliament, he continued his support in a more tangible way. On becoming [a] cabinet minister, he was very instrumental in establishing the National Disabilities Unit.
“The first successful dis-abled bus was spearheaded by Mr. Tudor, using his contact with the auto- motive industry. For nearly three decades, children with disabilities as well as other members of the disabled community have been provided with accessi- ble transport through the assistance of a grant from the Ministry of Finance,” he said.
Callender added that Tudor was not afraid to venture where others feared to tread. In that vein, he spoke of Tudor’s stint as the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic’s chairman, where he engineered the introduction of online learning.
“Today we salute a man who loved life; a man who loved his children, Simone, Jason, Dominique, Sharri and Joseph Jr dearly; a man who lived his life for the people of his community and the wider Barbadian community; a man who was loyal to his friends,” he stated.
He added, “With Johnny Tudor, what you saw was what you got. If he had to climb into a fire to protect a friend, he did it without any further thought. He never ran away.”
With that in mind, Callender gave his commitment to assist the family in establishing the Joseph Tudor Foundation in memory of both father and son, as well as a book chronicling their lives. He insisted that the world should know more about their accomplishments and contributions to Barbados.
During the sermon, Dean of the Cathedral of St. Michael and All Angels, the Very Reverend Dr. Jeffrey Gibson also paid tribute to Tudor and spoke of his sense of duty, enthusiasm, energy, sense of humour and cheerful spirit. Tributes were also paid to the late Tudor by his chil- dren, sister Holly Tudor, Member of Parliament for St. Michael East, Trevor
Prescod and lyrical master Dr. The Most Honourable Anthony ‘Gabby’ Carter.
The official funeral was attended by the President, Her Excellency, The Most Honourable Dame Sandra Mason; Acting Prime Minister Santia Bradshaw; Senior Minister, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Dale Marshall and other members of Parliament and Government. Also in attendance was President of the Democratic Labour Party, Dr. Ronnie Yearwood and First Vice President Steve Blackett.
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