KINGSTON: University of the West Indies (UWI) Professor Norman Girvan was lauded for his dedication and development of the region during a memorial service held at the University Chapel at the University of the West Indies, Mona campus last Saturday.
In his tribute, former Jamaican Prime Minister P.J. Patterson said he was impressed with the late professor’s work in creating a platform for better linkages in the Caribbean.
“Among many intellectuals, Girvan stood apart, as his concept of the region extended beyond the ministerial conquest and language,” said Patterson. “He worked assiduously in creating an environment where cooperation was feasible, creating sustainable tourism, transport and the environment. His practical work is outstanding and his rigorous and consistent research presented lucid writing, which opened the way for a new historical stage in the Caribbean.”
Girvan was also lauded by General Secretary of the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union David Abdulah.
“Norman walked the talk of commitment to Caribbean integration,” said Abdulah. “His entire teaching life was at the University of theWest Indies. And it didn’t matter which campus – he started and ended at St Augustine so, my Jamaican friends, Mona was but an interlude.”
The union executive said the last decade of Girvan’s life was perhaps the late professor’s period of greatest activism.
“He was a founding member and Chair of the Cropper Foundation, and a Board member of the South Centre working with colleagues on sustainable development,” said Abdulah. “He led campaigns in solidarity with Haiti and in the months just before his accident,Norman led the regional movement against the abomination of the Dominican Republic’s decision to make tens of thousands of Haitian descendants in the DR stateless.”
Professor Emeritus Norman Girvan died at the age of 72 in Cuba on April 8, three months after he became paralyzed following a fall while hiking in Dominica.