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A Tribute to our father-Henry Harvey Williams

A Tribute to our father-Henry Harvey Williams

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Henry Harvey Williams was born on the 6th January 1917 in the village of Gomea, St. Vincent. After completing his secondary education at the St. Vincent Boys’ Grammar School, he taught for a few years before entering the public service. In 1942, he married Eileen Dougan, and left the service for a brief stint in Curacao. {{more}}

On his return to St. Vincent, H.H. (as he’s affectionately known to relatives and friends,) resumed his teaching career at his Alma Mater, the St. Vincent Boys’ Grammar School, then once again entered the public service. Well-known for his integrity and high moral principles, H.H. rose to the level of chief secretary, St. Vincent.

In 1956, he was seconded to Carriacou as district officer, and two years later was appointed assistant administrator, Grenada, a post he held for about four years.

Always an ambitious and excellent scholar, Henry Williams gained his Bachelor’s degree externally and qualified as a barrister-at-law while maintaining his civil service career. It was only after his return to St. Vincent from Grenada that he practised his law for which he had qualified years before. During this time he worked briefly as extramural tutor, U.W.I., in both Montserrat and St. Vincent. His illustrious career was crowned by his appointment as acting governor general in 1988.

For many years he was an active member of The St. Vincent Music Association, The Lions’ Club and the St. Vincent National Trust. He served as chairman of the National Independence Committee and was a strong advocate of constitutional change and Caribbean unification.

He spent his final days quietly with his wife of 62 years, tending his garden and dogs and playing his violin.

Henry Harvey Williams died peacefully at his home on 11th November 2004.

He led us quietly but firmly. We followed, always with love and respect. Wherever his official duties took him, we remained an inseparable unit, bound together by one common and unbreakable thread … love, not only the expected love between parents and siblings, but one that reached out beyond family and friends, seeking good wherever it resided.

While the voices of others were raised in argument or their tempers flared in conflict, his way was to calmly reason, always aware that entertaining and respecting a diversity of opinions strengthens the formation of one’s own convictions.

His guiding principle was to do the right thing – always – no matter the consequences, difficult for many but for him, easy. He never wavered, never compromised his integrity, and always expected that his children would do no less. And so we were nurtured, in an environment not rich in material things, but overflowing with love, with music, with laughter and happiness, with caring, with all those things which emanated from the perfect union – Henry and Eileen.

We know what he stood for and will always honour his memory. Rest in peace dear Daddy/Papa/H.H.

(Jeanne Horne, Harvey Williams, Cheryl Remy, Erlene Williams-King, Dougal Williams)

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