Leader of the Opposition Paul Lewis on Friday released the following statement on the passing of Sir Howard Fergus on Thursday, March 23, 2023.
“On behalf of the Office of the Opposition, I would like to express our condolences to the family, friends and loved ones of the recently deceased Professor Sir Howard Fergus, KBE. During this sad hour, as you mourn the passing of Sir Howard, we the people of Montserrat share in your grief and wish Sir Howard a peaceful rest.
To our nation, Sir Howard stood as our standard bearer when complex matters of State needed a steady, reasoned and insightful hand to offer us guidance, interpretation or even many times, an apt solution on an amicable way forward. We relied upon him because throughout his life he demonstrated his devotion towards the cause of our advancement and development.
He was not an active Parliamentarian via the route of seeking to aspire to Elected Office. However, his profound mark upon our practice of The Westminster style of Parliamentary Democracy here on Montserrat, saw him dedicate many years of service in his capacity as Speaker of the previously titled Legislative Council, then towards its modernisation as The Legislative Assembly.
Sir Howard did not rule The Assembly with an iron fist; he was fair but yet firm. He was giving but also cautious to ensure decorum and Honour prevailed in the conduct of the people’s business whenever the Assembly sat.
His work on matters of our Constitution Order and electoral procedures also standout within his repertoire of contribution to our democratic evolution. Our Democracy owes him a debt of gratitude for his exemplary work within this area of our development.
The wider Caribbean will also be mourning the passing of Sir Howard. His impact was not localised. He was a Professor of Eastern Caribbean Studies at The University of The West Indies. He served also as Extra-Mural Resident Tutor of The UWI here on Montserrat. Throughout the Region, his expertise towards advancing the cause of Constitutional development and reform have been called upon many times, and his work in this area will form part of his lasting Legacy.
Sir Howard was a prolific writer and poet. History was his forte with many books written on the subject. However, as a former teacher of creative writing and English, he has also written and published several poetry collections that demonstrated his great skill in putting together imagery and story into an exciting but yet compelling read.
Montserrat’s advancement in the area of National Development will most certainly carry on. We however wish to thank Sir Howard’s family for allowing him the latitude to share with us; to give to us; to nurture, inform and educate us over all these years. I am beyond certain that at times you felt he belonged more to the Country than to you, but rest assured his efforts and sacrifice have laid a solid foundation so that Montserrat will be better served as we continue in the task of growth and development that he so ably contributed towards.
May he Rest in Eternal Peace with the Grace of God as his ultimate comfort.
Paul J. Lewis
Leader of His Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, Montserrat