Above: Margaret Thatcher
By the Caribbean Journal staff
A number of Caribbean leaders expressed their condolences Monday over the death of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
Thatcher, the United Kingdom’s first (and thus far only) female Prime Minister, died Monday at the age of 87.
Cayman Premier Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, her own territory’s first female Premier, said she was “embedded in the collective memory” in the Cayman Islands.
“Mrs Thatcher provided powerful affirmation, with her way of unpretentiously drawing on her roles as wife and mother, to inspire her comprehension of the subtle and far-reaching ramifications of public policy,” she said in a statement. “Cayman’s women have long showed a similar capacity to combine professional and public leadership roles, while retaining their vital roles in the home.”
Whatever one’s feelings about Thatcher’s politics, Cayman Islanders “were impressed that she had a resolute drive to pursue change for the common good.”
Turks and Caicos Premier Dr Rufus Ewing said he learned of Thatcher’s death “with profound sadness.”
Baroness Thatcher “will continue to be the symbol of leadership that has inspired generations of women as they strive to achieve, against inequality and discrimination.”
St Lucia Opposition Leader Stephenson King expressed his “deepest condolences” to her family, friends and the people of the United Kingdom, pointed to Thatcher’s “non-nonsense approach to government.”
“If you came of age during the 70’s or the 80’s then the name Margaret Thatcher must bear significant meaning. Certainly, she was regarded as the most powerful female politician of her time,” said Jamaican Opposition Leader and former Prime Minister Andrew Holness. “The strength with which she used power to undertake fundamental economic and social reform, pulled Britain from the economic doldrums of the 70’s and set the stage for a decade or more of stable growth and development for that country.”
On reflection, Holness said, “I am sure that those who vilified her then will eulogize her now, for her leadership and vision in guiding the UK out of the economic and social quagmire in which it had found itself.”