Former Prime Minister of Dominica Edison James has described the late Francois Barrie as an outstanding citizen who was deeply concerned about the people of the Kalinago Territory. Barrie, who was a former member of Parliament for the Salybia Constituency, died at his home in Pointe, Kalinago Territory, on Sunday, September 3.
“Francois Barrie was a good man and I first of all want to, on behalf of my family and myself, extend condolences to his wife and [children] and the rest of his family,” Mr. James said during an interview with State-Owned DBS Radio. “From all reports and from my own personal knowledge of him, he was an outstanding citizen who was deeply concerned about the people of the Kalinago territory.”
According to him, Barrie was a man who paid deep attention to the issues surrounding his people.
“One of the things about Mr. Barrie is that he carried a notepad and every encounter he had with his people, whether is the things that he committed to do for them, things that they ask of him, things he felt has to be done it would be noted in his notebook and ticked off as he dealt with them,” Mr. James explained.
He also mentioned that the late Barrie played a leading role in the decision of the UWP administration to extend the land available to the Kalinago Territory by 93 acres.
“He was also proud to have led the charge to bring water to the Kalinago Territory…,” he stated.
Barrie was a schoolteacher for most of his life and was known as “Teacher Barrie” or simply “Cha Barrie.”
He was first elected to the Salybia Constituency in a by-election on December 20, 1993, on a United Workers Party (UWP) ticket.
He was reelected in the 1995 general election.
However, he was defeated by Kelly Graneau of the Dominica Labour Party (DLP) in the 2000 general election.
Barrie was an avid sportsman and a great lover of cricket.
Barrie served as Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Education and Sports from 1995-2000 in the UWP administration led by Edison James.