For Immediate Release

13 May 2024

I learned tonight with great sadness of the death of my friend and exemplar A Loftus Roker. In my early years in the PLP, he was one of the most consequential MPs on my early political career. I am in many senses the product of Lynden Pindling, George Smith, and Loftus Roker. They now all belong to the ages.

On the fateful day at my first PLP convention, he walked up to me after my inaugural address and indicated that he was impressed and that I was welcome to be a part of his circle

I was then appointed to the Board of the Bahamas Telecommunications Corporation, where he served as Minister for the Corporation. As a member, in my early twenties, I was able to complete my first round of travel to the inhabited Islands of The Bahamas. That laid the foundation for my knowledge of The Bahamas and its people.

In 1977 and in 1982, together with former MP Frank Walkine, I was intimately involved in his political campaign in North Andros and the Berry Islands. I know the people in those islands today because of that. In 1987, when he decided to bow out of politics, I sat with him for hours, penning his final address to Parliament.

That year marked the end of a pattern where as a young politician in training, I would begin my day through the last half of 1970s and first half of the 1980s in his office every morning at 7 a m as he worked on his Ministerial decisions, talking from one subject to another.

When he came first to Nassau, he was mentored by the late Sir Milo Butler, and the stories about Sir Milo about the personal history of relations of the early PLP were fascinating and insightful. I can not stress how much Loftus Roker’s life and times made an impression on me.

There is no doubt in my mind that the term architect of the nation, founding father, all apply to him. The Bahamas has lost a great man and a great mind.

In the latter years of his life, he was an elder statesman, a voice of patriotic Bahamian clarity.

The Progressive Liberal Party is proud that he helped to lay a solid foundation for our party. On behalf of our Leader the Hon Philip Davis, our entire parliamentary team, officers and members, I express our condolences to his family.

I am proud to have known him. I say a simple thank you and farewell to a man who lived a good life, loved his country and made me a better human being and our country immeasurably better for his having lived.

End

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