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Caspar London to be laid to rest tomorrow

Caspar London to be laid to rest tomorrow

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Trade unionist and social activist Caspar London will be laid to rest tomorrow, after a funeral service at the Kingstown Evangelical Church.{{more}}

London, 68, died on April 11, at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, days after he had undergone the amputation of one of his legs.

He had been battling complications related to diabetes for many years, SEARCHLIGHT has learnt.

London was born and grew up in Rose Place, Kingstown. He, however, preferred to refer to his birthplace as “Bottom Town”, the name by which the area is commonly known.

He was a trade unionist by profession and channelled his energies into helping to make better the life of working class people.

He gained national attention in 1971/72 when he held a placard to protest the visit of Princess Margaret. Also protesting that visit were Robert ‘Patches’ Knights and Jim Maloney.

London was beaten by the police and dragged through the streets of Kingstown.

He was instrumental in the formation of the Young Socialists Group and was a member of the Youlou United Liberation Movement (YULIMO) and the United Peoples Movement (UPM). He was also instrumental in the formation of the Commercial Technical and Allied Workers Union (CTAWU) and helped in the organisation of the workers on the Orange Hill Estate.

London left the UPM, along with Dr Ralph Gonsalves, to form the Movement for National Unity (MNU) and also became a member of the Unity Labour Party (ULP), when the merger between the St Vincent Labour Party and the MNU took place.

Dougie “Nose” Joseph, one of London’s close friends, told SEARCHLIGHT that London was committed to whatever cause he took up and would never waiver. He would only concede if and when, after a day or two of reflection, he was convinced.

While the theories of Marx and Lennin were part of his studies, he was conscious that such theories were not what was needed for the Caribbean, after the Grenada revolution failed. He settled for what was termed the Social-Democrat philosophy, which he saw as the best way for the survival of the poor and downtrodden in societies such as ours.

London read a lot to ensure he was equipped to deliver on whatever topic he wanted to address and because of that, his ideas and opinions were often sought.

Joseph said he considered London a walking encyclopedia on matters pertaining to the struggles of the Vincentian masses and former Chief Minister Ebenezer Theodore Joshua.

“I think he considered Joshua as the individual whose works had a lasting effect on his life. The last days I spent with Caspar, he was adamant that Milton Cato should not be accorded National Hero status,” Joseph said.

The funeral service will take place at the Kingstown Evangelical Church tomorrow, April 20 at 3 p.m. Burial will be at the Kingstown Cemetery.

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