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Russell was always on the go – Wife

Russell was always on the go – Wife

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Former parliamentarian and minister of government Randolph Bertie Russell was a man who was always on the go, doing things and helping people.

As she reflected on the life of her husband of 58 years, Gwendoline “June” Russell told SEARCHLIGHT that the former politician and businessman was a person who was always coming up with new ideas.{{more}}

“That’s the sort of person he was. He always came up with new ideas all the time. Even before he got his final stroke, he was coming up with ideas of things he would like to do, things he would like to do in the business… He enjoyed, that, coming up with new ideas, and building and so on… and he was always willing to help other people.

The bereaved widow spoke to SEARCHLIGHT on Wednesday evening, shortly after arriving in St Vincent on a flight she had chartered to bring her husband’s body home from Barbados.

Mrs Russell said her husband died between 11:15 and 11:30 on Friday night at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados, where he had gone to seek medical attention after suffering a stroke.

She noted that shortly after her son Steve had called from St Vincent to inform her that his property at North River Road had burned down in a fire, she observed that her husband had stopped breathing.

At the time of his death, the former politician was 86 years old.

Russell was the elected Member of Parliament for the East Kingstown constituency from 1972 to 1984 and served as Minister of Health and Community Development in the St Vincent Labour Party government from 1974 to 1981. He also held the portfolios of Housing, Local Government, Water and Cooperatives during his tenure.

As Minister of Health, Russell was responsible for the establishment of the Kingstown Medical College, the School of Nursing and Allied Health Services and the Regional Nurse Practitioner Programme.

From 1964, up to the time of his death, he was the chair and managing director of the West India Development Company Ltd, which operated the Russell’s Cinema at Stoney Ground for over 40 years, manufactured ice cream for over 30 years and bottled Cocoa Cola, Fanta and SBC for over 21 years.

He was also chair and managing director of first St Vincent Bank (formerly St Vincent Agricultural Credit and Loan Bank Ltd) from 1966 to the time of his death.

This outstanding son of the Vincentian soil was also a hotelier, having purchased, renovated and reopened the Tropic Breeze Hotel and established the Wallilabou Resort Ltd, where the popular movie “Pirates of the Caribbean” was filmed.

At the time of his death, he was also chair of Sentry Insurance Co Ltd.

The Russells have three sons – Stephen, Dale and Kirk and several grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements will be announced.