St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Ambassador Sam Condor delivered the eulogy at the official funeral for the late Washington Archibald held at the Moravian Church in Basseterre on Friday.
Mr. Condor said Mr. Archibald inspired many young people who have gone on to do great things.
“Within the education system and later through the offering of adult education, thousands of lives were reset and renewed. His business college initiative was a gateway to higher education for so many fellow citizens. You see, this show of caring, understanding and giving was so critical in an era when every ambitious youngster of my generation believed that attendance at the St Kitts Nevis Grammar School was the passport to better social economic conditions for themselves and their families. Thank God for teacher Washie!
He understood the disappointment of those of us who were not successful at the entrance examination for the Grammar School. It was this sense of disappointment and disillusionment of myself, many of my contemporaries and countless others that was so succinctly addressed by his work, vision and passion for the upliftment and advancement of the working class of our land. This gave hope and faith in our dreams and aspirations. I believe it would be remiss of me not to speak of the impact of this great educator’s holistic approach had on the overall education system. The opening of the Basseterre Senior School in 1961 was a policy initiative by the Labour administration to address the absence of post primary education for so many youths of the nation. His tenure at the Basseterre Senior School 1961 to 1964 gave new hope and inspiration to all. During that period we saw the introduction of new initiatives such as school history and social clubs and study groups. He entered the school team in the Football Association League which provided the basis of a remarkable unleashing of talent focused growth and pride for students and the community alike. Some of the finest talents in the country were discovered, indeed, most of these footballers went on to play at the national level.”
Mr. Condor, a former Deputy Prime Minister in the St Kitts Nevis Labour Party Administration, said the Mr. Archibald believed that the sugar lands should be put to alternative use and proposed a major development project named The White Gate Project.
“The concept was to build a brand new town in the northern part of the island, the idea being to replicate all the economic operations and business establishment of the capital city Basseterre. This he envisioned, would attract and increase foreign investment into the country to help improve and increase economic growth and economic opportunities the spin off being improved social and economic conditions for workers and families generally. Just think of it, a brand new town with all the modern day amenities imaginable. Airport, sea port, marina, hotels, casino, golf course, banks, insurance companies, post office, shopping malls, restaurants and the like. All of those would be providing employment entertainment and a sense of community. Just imagine the impact on the traffic congestion and the overcrowding in Basseterre. A visionary, a man ahead of his time! There are thousands in our land who believe in that vision and even today hope that all is not lost. You know the old folks had a saying, the only way to get lost is to forget where the journey began and what we want to achieve at the end of the journey. So I ask is this an opportune time to refocus?”
From 1951 to 2009, Mr. Archibald served as a teacher and principal at several government schools and at the St Theresa Convent School, now the Immaculate Conception Catholic School. He also established the St. Kitts Business College, and founded and led Project Strong.
Born May 28, 1934, in Soho Village, Basseterre, Mr Archibald’s academic accomplishments include a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and history, from the University of the West Indies (Cave Hill), and a diploma from Leeward Island Teachers’ College.
In 1998, the Basseterre Junior High School was upgraded to a high school and renamed the “Washington Archibald High School” in honour of Mr. Archibald.
In 2015, Mr. Archibald was conferred with the Companion Star of Merit (CSM) award for his contribution to education.