The government of Dominica has extended condolences to the family of Sir Lester Bird, former Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda who passed on Monday August 9th , 2021.
Sir Lester was 83 years old when he died following a long illness.
He served as Antigua and Barbuda’s second prime minister from 1994 to 2004 and was known as one of two living national heroes, alongside cricketing legend Sir Vivian Richards who’s now 69.
He was made a Knight of the Order of the National Hero (KNH) by Antigua and Barbuda in 2014.
Sir Lester’s political career began in 1971 when he was nominated for the Antigua and Barbuda Senate. He was also named the chairman of the Antigua Labour Party (ALP) and the leader of the opposition in that Senate.
He is remembered as one of the Caribbean’s most illustrious sons, who contributed immensely to the development of Antigua and Barbuda and the wider region.
The Antigua Grammar School-educated politician and former lawyer was also a strong international sportsman who gained success in cricket and long jump.
Sir Lester first joined his father’s government as deputy prime minister. In addition to serving as deputy PM, he also served as a minister of energy and tourism. He successfully benefited from tourism partnerships with foreign investors, including the construction of the Royal Antiguan hotel.
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, in his message of condolence, said Bird also served as the first chairman of the organization of Eastern Caribbean States adding that his contribution to the regional integration movement and economic development of Antigua and Barbuda may be “long remembered and honored.”
“Our prayers are with his loved ones and the people of Antigua and Barbuda. May his soul rest in peace.”
The state funeral of former Antigua Prime Minister and national hero, Sir Lester Bryant Bird, is carded for August 26 – with the day to be declared a national holiday. Confirmation came from Antigua’s Prime Minister Chief of Staff, Lionel Hurst.
Flags across the country are being flown at half-mast and will continue until the day of the funeral.