Dominica: Former Salybia MP Francois Barrie passes away

Former Salybia MP Francois Barrie passed away at his residence on September 3rd, 2023.

Former Salybia MP Francois Barrie passed away at his residence on September 3rd, 2023. The life of Francois Barrie and his transition into politics was quite interesting. A teacher for the major part of his life, Barrie transitioned into politics for the first time in 1993 when he won a by-election on a United Worker Party (UWP) ticket from the Salybia constituency.

Under the Edison James administration in 1995, following the general election, Barrie won once again. As a result, he was appointed as a Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Education and Sports.

The Dominica Labour Party’s Kelly Graneau managed to beat him at the polls in the 2000 general elections.

A good example of Francois Barrie’s significance in his community is highlighted by the fact that even Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit extended his condolences to Francois Barrie’s family through his social media handles.

“I extend heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family of Francois Barrie, the former Parliamentary Representative of the Salybia Constituency. Mr. Barrie represented the Salybia Constituency from 1993 to 2000 and was Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Education and Sports from 1995-2000. We pray that God Almighty grants his family comfort and strength. May his soul rest in eternal peace.” he said.

Beyond his public life Francois Barrie was known as an excellent cricketer and avid sports fan. He was also considered an accomplished historian, especially when it came to cricket and the cricketing history of his region.

He even spoke of Adam Sanford, at a 2020 interview with Dr. Sam Christian, reminding him that Sanford was a product of his time as a member of the West Indies Cricket Board.

He was famous for bringing piped water to Kalinago which was humorously referred to as ‘Barrie water’. He often spoke of trying his best to do as much as he could for his community, regardless of the obstacles in his way.

Member of Parliament, Cozier Frederick also extended his condolences on social media, “I extend deepest condolences to the wife and children of my former Teacher: Francois Barrie. The Kalinago Space has lost a former Parliamentary Representative, cricket historian, and educator. May he rest in eternal peace.”

Francois Barrie’s loss will be felt by many in the region. He had become a revered figure in his community due to his commitment to his people and his lack will surely be felt in his home constituency.

George Henry

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