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Flashbacks – January 2011 – John Osborne dies

John Osborne dies at 75

Just as Montserrat concluded the celebration of the life of Alphonsus ‘Arrow’ Cassell in the 2010-11 annual Christmas Festival named ‘Arrow Festival’; and just after the turn of the new year 2011, Montserrat was plunged into new mourning at the death of its longest serving parliamentarian and chief minister, John Alfred Osborne.

On Christmas eve a message of thanks was issued by the family who has been issuing updates of the state of the now deceased ‘chief’ since his hospitalisation in July. That message said, “…Thank you for your love, your interest, and your strength, that continue to help us through this. To every Montserratian everywhere, we send our very best wishes for your most enjoyable holidays ever, and our hope that you will enjoy the best of health and every good thing throughout 2011 and beyond.

“Our father is still very ill, but we believe that much of the strength with which he has, so far, been able to fight this illness comes directly from the care and concern that his people have shown. We, his children and the other members of his family, feel sustained and shored up by your prayers, telephone calls, and good wishes as we fight, right beside him, for his health and his life.”

Following his hospitalisation a statement in September from the family informed that “he has undergone surgeries of varying levels of seriousness, and has baffled and astounded his physicians on several occasions with his ability to rebound and recover.” The statement noted that one surgeon noted that, “He is a remarkable man,” a statement that will and has been appearing in the many tributes that have been pouring in to the media.

But, on Sunday morning, January 2, 2010 his daughter Shirley Osborne sent a statement from the family announcing he had passed peacefully. He died in the United States of America in the State of Kentucky at the age of 75 where he was undergoing medical treatment.

Since the news of the ‘Chief’s’ death the media all over the world had published the information and the tributes began immediately and have continued to pour in.

Mr. John A. Osborne leaves with the distinction of being the longest serving legislator in Montserrat from 1966 to 1991 and 1996 – 2009. Of those 38 years he served as Chief Minister the top statesman for this UK Dependent Territory, for 18 years, from 1978-1991 and again from 2001-2006.

He contested every election since 1966, making his political career spanning over 43 years, before he retired and did not contest the 2009 general elections. His son David of his first marriage successfully contested that election.

His last political pronouncement was shortly before he left Montserrat. He sounded his concern at the way the passage of the new Constitution Order of Montserrat had been handled.

The family first tributed their father in the statement announcing his death. “John A. Osborne, the father with whom we have shared the most intense love and affection, has died…We have lost the irreplaceable centre of our family and an incomparable presence in all our lives, but his wisdom, courage, and irrepressible spirit will live with us forever,” the statement added.

One popular calypsonian in one of the tributes, described Osborne. “He was not the most polished orator, but he communicated with a common-sense approach and understanding, that appealed to the masses. Tough, candid and focused, John Osborne made up for his lack of intellectual gravitas by becoming a fierce populist,” he began.

Dr. George Irish as he memorialised Chief Minister Osborne following his death, said: “…understood that politics was not a toy game.  He fought it doggedly and hard.

“He was a winner. He was accustomed to winning and he enjoyed fighting to win. He leaves behind a fan club of several hundreds of faithful supporters and admirers dispersed all over the world. Not even his detractors can dare to erase his name from the corridors of distinction in local business and politics. For me, he ranks in the populist category of W. H. Bramble and Robert W. Griffith, as unforgettable Montserratian icons.”

Chief Minister Reuben T Meade said, in a statement from is office: “Mr. Osborne’s passing is a national loss of a ‘wealth of knowledge’, ‘national identity’ and a National Icon who was generous, kind and the embodiment of an enduring and unmoving love for humanity.”

Messages were immediate from the island’s closest neighbours: The Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis in a message to the Hon. Reuben Meade, Chief Minister of Montserrat expressed the profound sadness of his Government and the people of St. Kitts and Nevis and extended deepest and heartfelt sympathies to the Government and people of Montserrat.

In the message the PM further said, “John Osborne’s long and distinguished career, where he sought to ensure that the people of Montserrat could stand proudly with their CARICOM Colleagues and make a positive contribution to the debate on the direction of the Caribbean, was an inspiration, not only to the people of Montserrat, but to the entire region… As your country mourns the passing of a Caribbean son, be comforted by the fact that we share in your moment of bereavement.”

Meanwhile Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer wrote: “Chief Minister Osborne having been one of Montserrat’s longest serving statesman…had a distinguished record as one of Montserrat’s finest sons.

“The renaming of the airport in 2005 to the John A. Osborne Airport stands as a testament of his legacy.  He will be missed by all who came into contact with him,” said PM Spencer.”

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

John Osborne dies at 75

Just as Montserrat concluded the celebration of the life of Alphonsus ‘Arrow’ Cassell in the 2010-11 annual Christmas Festival named ‘Arrow Festival’; and just after the turn of the new year 2011, Montserrat was plunged into new mourning at the death of its longest serving parliamentarian and chief minister, John Alfred Osborne.

On Christmas eve a message of thanks was issued by the family who has been issuing updates of the state of the now deceased ‘chief’ since his hospitalisation in July. That message said, “…Thank you for your love, your interest, and your strength, that continue to help us through this. To every Montserratian everywhere, we send our very best wishes for your most enjoyable holidays ever, and our hope that you will enjoy the best of health and every good thing throughout 2011 and beyond.

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“Our father is still very ill, but we believe that much of the strength with which he has, so far, been able to fight this illness comes directly from the care and concern that his people have shown. We, his children and the other members of his family, feel sustained and shored up by your prayers, telephone calls, and good wishes as we fight, right beside him, for his health and his life.”

Following his hospitalisation a statement in September from the family informed that “he has undergone surgeries of varying levels of seriousness, and has baffled and astounded his physicians on several occasions with his ability to rebound and recover.” The statement noted that one surgeon noted that, “He is a remarkable man,” a statement that will and has been appearing in the many tributes that have been pouring in to the media.

But, on Sunday morning, January 2, 2010 his daughter Shirley Osborne sent a statement from the family announcing he had passed peacefully. He died in the United States of America in the State of Kentucky at the age of 75 where he was undergoing medical treatment.

Since the news of the ‘Chief’s’ death the media all over the world had published the information and the tributes began immediately and have continued to pour in.

Mr. John A. Osborne leaves with the distinction of being the longest serving legislator in Montserrat from 1966 to 1991 and 1996 – 2009. Of those 38 years he served as Chief Minister the top statesman for this UK Dependent Territory, for 18 years, from 1978-1991 and again from 2001-2006.

He contested every election since 1966, making his political career spanning over 43 years, before he retired and did not contest the 2009 general elections. His son David of his first marriage successfully contested that election.

His last political pronouncement was shortly before he left Montserrat. He sounded his concern at the way the passage of the new Constitution Order of Montserrat had been handled.

The family first tributed their father in the statement announcing his death. “John A. Osborne, the father with whom we have shared the most intense love and affection, has died…We have lost the irreplaceable centre of our family and an incomparable presence in all our lives, but his wisdom, courage, and irrepressible spirit will live with us forever,” the statement added.

One popular calypsonian in one of the tributes, described Osborne. “He was not the most polished orator, but he communicated with a common-sense approach and understanding, that appealed to the masses. Tough, candid and focused, John Osborne made up for his lack of intellectual gravitas by becoming a fierce populist,” he began.

Dr. George Irish as he memorialised Chief Minister Osborne following his death, said: “…understood that politics was not a toy game.  He fought it doggedly and hard.

“He was a winner. He was accustomed to winning and he enjoyed fighting to win. He leaves behind a fan club of several hundreds of faithful supporters and admirers dispersed all over the world. Not even his detractors can dare to erase his name from the corridors of distinction in local business and politics. For me, he ranks in the populist category of W. H. Bramble and Robert W. Griffith, as unforgettable Montserratian icons.”

Chief Minister Reuben T Meade said, in a statement from is office: “Mr. Osborne’s passing is a national loss of a ‘wealth of knowledge’, ‘national identity’ and a National Icon who was generous, kind and the embodiment of an enduring and unmoving love for humanity.”

Messages were immediate from the island’s closest neighbours: The Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis in a message to the Hon. Reuben Meade, Chief Minister of Montserrat expressed the profound sadness of his Government and the people of St. Kitts and Nevis and extended deepest and heartfelt sympathies to the Government and people of Montserrat.

In the message the PM further said, “John Osborne’s long and distinguished career, where he sought to ensure that the people of Montserrat could stand proudly with their CARICOM Colleagues and make a positive contribution to the debate on the direction of the Caribbean, was an inspiration, not only to the people of Montserrat, but to the entire region… As your country mourns the passing of a Caribbean son, be comforted by the fact that we share in your moment of bereavement.”

Meanwhile Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer wrote: “Chief Minister Osborne having been one of Montserrat’s longest serving statesman…had a distinguished record as one of Montserrat’s finest sons.

“The renaming of the airport in 2005 to the John A. Osborne Airport stands as a testament of his legacy.  He will be missed by all who came into contact with him,” said PM Spencer.”