The main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has extended condolences to the family and friends of Lady Cynthia Gairy, widow of Grenada’s first Prime Minister, Sir Eric Mathew Gairy who passed away in Georgia in the United States on January 29.
Lady Cynthia was one of Grenada’s longest serving parliamentarians and represented the Constituency of St. David for several years as a member of the Grenada United Labour Party (GULP) which was led by her husband.
The NDC expressed sympathy on the passing of Lady Cynthia during the party’s weekly press conference in St. George’s on Monday which was addressed by the Candidate for St. David, Adrian Thomas.
He said: “On behalf of the NDC, myself and my family, I would like to express condolences to the Gairy family.
The National Democratic Congress really and truly, is very dear to the Gairy family…
“…The Grenada United Labour Party is a very important party in the history of our country and the NDC do hold the GULP at high esteem, seeing that it was the party (GULP), that gave us the Father of Independence, the late Sir Eric Matthew Gairy”.
Noting that Lady Cynthia was a former MP for the St. David’s constituency, Thomas said that “she is definitely someone he aims to emulate in terms of the “putting people first” concept, which is the NDC’s 2018 election campaign slogan.
“She was an MP in St. David and (had) laid the foundation for putting people first, as the NDC (has) embarked upon in its (election) campaign (and) if you look at Gairy’s history in the early 50s and 60s definitely, they (the GULP) had the people at heart,” he said.
Thomas also used the opportunity to emphasise that “as we celebrate Independence (each year), the Gairy family must be remembered” for their work towards achieving political freedom for Grenadians.
In a press release issued by the Government Information Service (GIS), Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell also extended condolences to the family of Lady Cynthia.
The release said: “As a country we are forever grateful to the Gairy family for their sacrifices and stewardship …as one people we mourn the passing of Mrs. Gairy but we do so with gratitude by recalling her life and contribution to this nation.”
Lady Cynthia was the first female to sit in the House of Representatives and served as an elected MP from 1961 to 1979 when she was removed from her position following the March 13 1979 coup d’état staged against the labour party government by the left-leaning New Jewel Movement (NJM) of Maurice Bishop.
She was detained briefly by the revolutionary leaders and allowed to leave the island to live in exile in the United States.
Lady Cynthia had served government in many different portfolios such as Health, Education, Social Affairs, Culture, Community Development and Co-operatives.
Born in St. David in 1923, the ex-government minister is survived by her two daughters, Macelle a former Grenada High Commissioner to London and Jennifer.
The body of Lady Cynthia would be brought back to Grenada for burial most likely in St. David on a date to be announced.
A memorial service was held for her last week Saturday in Atlanta.