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Edward Evelyn Greaves, GCM, 1940-2018
Sunday, 30 September 2018 00:00

The Executive Council of the Barbados Workers’ Union (B.W.U.) is deeply saddened at the sudden passing of its former Deputy General Secretary, Edward Evelyn Greaves, G.C.M, 78, who died in Barbados on Saturday, 23 September, 2018.

Comrade Greaves, who joined the staff of the B,W.U. in 1968 as Head of the Labour College, went on to distinguish himself in the field of trade unionism, particularly in the area of worker education as well as in politics, and diplomacy. He was the Parliamentary Representative for the parish of St. Lucy, from 1971 to 1981 and during the period 1986 to 1994, he served in the Cabinet of Prime Ministers (Rt. Excellent) Errol Walton Barrow and (Sir) Lloyd Erskine Sandiford. His devotion to service and his wide-ranging career in public life also included a stint in the Senate from 1981 to 1986, Secretary/Treasurer, acting, of the Caribbean Congress of Labour, Senior Workers’ Specialist at the ILO Office in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, and latterly as Barbados’s High Commissioner to Canada.

Comrade Greaves made an indelible and enduring contribution to the spread of trade union education and the resulting stability of the industrial relations system in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean in his position as the Head of the BWU Labour College which was established at Mangrove, St. Philip in September of 1974. The Labour College, from its inception in September, 1974, has had an open door policy in relation to the training of workers from affiliates of the Caribbean Congress of Labour. Prior to Comrade Greaves’ engagement as Head of the College and later as Principal, trade union education was carried out on a seasonal basis, at first with the “Summer Schools” which were conducted at Codrington College in St. John and later at the Union’s property, “Unity House”, on Roebuck Street in Bridgetown. Greaves’ work in trade union education was further expanded with his appointment as Senior Workers’ Specialist at the ILO Office in Port-of-Spain where he was responsible for the coordination of worker training and education from Suriname in the south to Belize in the northwest of the region.

Apart from his contribution to the workforce in Barbados in the area of trade union education, Comrade Greaves was the founder President of the Barbados Workers’ Union Cooperative Credit Union, which was established in October of 1983. That institution had a humble start in a room at “Solidarity House” before its move to the building which housed the original headquarters of the Union at the corner of Fairchild and Nelson Streets.

Comrade Greaves was honoured with the award of The Gold Crown of Merit for his outstanding contribution to the trade union movement in Barbados.

Comrade Greaves’ many successes in public life came as no surprise to those who knew him as he had devoted his entire life to the service of his fellowman. From his youth onward, he invested much of his energies and resources in the institutions especially the church and clubs in the rural parish of St. Lucy where he was born, raised and served as a Parliamentarian. That spirit of service and charity was clearly manifested in his professional pursuits in the disciplines of trade unionism, politics, and in diplomacy, and this was strongly evidenced by the tremendous outpouring of love and respect as contained in the statements made by friends work colleagues and observers following his passing.

Educated at Coleridge and Parry, Harrison College, the University of the West Indies and Rutgers University, his was a life well lived. He took full advantage of the opportunities which came his way. As has been reflected in the developmental role he played at St. Clement’s Anglican Church, he acknowledged the divinity of his Creator, treasured family life and was charitable to those in need.

The Executive Council of the Barbados Workers’ Union extends its sympathy to his wife, Francilia, his daughters Laura-Lynn and Stacy, his grandchildren, as well as his siblings and the other members of the Greaves family.


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