Opposition parties disagree with plans to rename hospital after former prime minister

Former Prime Minister Sir Lester Bird

Opposition parties here have criticised the decision by the Antigua and Barbuda government to rename the St. John’s Medical Center after former prime minister Sir Lester Bird.

A statement issued by the government following the weekly Cabinet meeting here noted that the center would be re-named The Sir Lester Bird Medical Center and that a date will be set for the renaming of the hospital and the ceremony that will take place.

The facility serves as the main public hospital in the country.

Speaking on Observer Radio here, she said the 80-year-old former prime minister is still a controversial figure and that his administration left office without completing the construction of the hospital.But the chairman of the main opposition United Progressive Party (UPP), D Giselle Isaac, said that Sir Lester Bird, who is now a Senior Advisor to the Cabinet with Ministerial rank, does not deserve to have the facility named after him.

“What this government is doing is turning national institutions into party institutions and rewarding partisan behaviour with national honours, and …my party condemns it,” she told radio listeners.

She said it is “ironic that this institution that the Lester Bird administration could not finish,(and) that the Baldwin Spencer administration had to struggle to finish during a world economic recession…what does Baldwin Spencer get for that”.

The UPP chairman said that Sir Lester was just recently honoured as a National Hero and is questioning Prime Minister Gaston Browne’s decision to also appoint Sir Lester as a senior advisor to his government.

“I strongly doubt that Sir Lester Bird will be giving them any advice they are going to heed. A Gentleman must know like a lady must know when to leave the stage and unfortunately it is one of the failings of the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party that it does not know when to retire its members.

“I think you are supposed to allow people to miss you rather than ….saying of you, you have overstayed and the advice I would offer to ….Sir Lester Bird is known when to leave the stage,” she said.

The executive member of the small Democratic National Alliance (DNA), Anthony Stewart, also had a similar message for Sir Lester and the government.

He said there were people outside of politics who are more in need of recognition that Sir Lester and that the institution should either be renamed after them or the present name kept.

“So why do we have to go and politicise everything by re-naming St. John’s Medical Center after the honourable Lester Bird,” he said, noting the recent accolades given to the aging politician in recent times.

Stewart said he was also encouraging Sir Lester to turn down any position within the government and make way for younger people to serve Antigua and Barbuda.

“I would advise if he wishes to take my advise that to just go and relax, enjoy his retirement. What type of advice can you give at this time? The honourable Lester Bird would have done his time and it is time for him now to put up his boots…and make space for the younger generation,” Stewart added.

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  1. G- Isaac-you really need to shut up your A-hole- the UPP marched vehemently ,candle light vigil and all against the construction of the Hospital..it so happened that the ALP lost power in 2004 with the project 95% completed,who should get the praises for it ? B Spencer? For the part of the UPP alone that Hospital would never have been there to this day,you,ll did not even want to open it.It stood there for almost the entire first term of your dunce Administration. When the UPP named an entire new road off someone who simply went on Observer and repeatedly use the Phrase” Only in Antigua” That was enough to earn his name a memorial.. You are nothing but a dam bias angry sour loser of a person.The most of Antigua do not want to hear from the likes of you.We have had enough of your voice..Get to hell off the stage..

    • @Mrs. D. Gisele Arrindell-Isaac. You ought to stay home and take care of Mr. Arrindell. Ensure that his needs are met and that you fulfill your wifely duties.

    • Please state the facts accurately. The “almost complete” hospital building, sat unoccupied with no activity, for several years prior to 2004. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but let’s state the facts accurately.

      • The fact is the UPP did not want to open the hospital cause the said nothing wrong with Holberton but when the pressure was coming down on them in 2009 they rush to open it and placed it in the hands of some American management company that was charging the locals an arm and a leg and would not even grant mother their birth certificate until they paid that ridiculous hospital bill. Deny that to.

      • That is not true-the ABLP lost power while work were been done on the facility.. That is the facts.. There is absolutely no credit to the UPP for that facility,if there is where you are going..Go on Independence Drive and see where the UPP credit is..

    • just remember they were also against the purchase of the land from the Michael’s and thought the location was not suitable for a hospital.

  2. Is it true that the UPP and their followers have decided that if the hospital is remained Lester Bird Medical Centre they will boycott the hospital and go to the clinics instead?

  3. It amazes me how people without even a smattering of common sense, use this medium over and to expose their inability to analyze, evaluate and form conclusions on very basic issues! Just saying. . . .

  4. Renaming the hospital is just as bad and ridiculous as when the previous administration decided to rename Boggy peak to Mt Obama. There’s nothing wrong with MSJMC. In my opinion, there are far more pressing matters in the country to place focus on..

  5. let me say somrthing, if ABLP can rename the hospital after their after party leader when they are in power now, then the UPP can also rename the hospital after their party leader when they win the next election in the future , so does the DNA. how about calling it Leater bird- baldwin spencer-DNA-and ………….hospital.is that the nature of democracy that we want and fight for ? JUST CALL it antigua and barbud main hospital, beacuse nomatter who build the hospital, they spend the money of the people and build for people.

  6. While they are at, rename ApUA the Robin Yearwood Utilities Authority; Rename Medical Benefits the Bernard Peecival Centre; rename Solid waste the Tanny Rose Centre for Waste: rename Transport Board Sly J’s Department of Motor Vehicle; rename the race track at Cassada Garden Spliff’s Turf Club; rename Government House Sir Rodney Williams centre and when all is done petition to UN and have them regonise the name change of county to Bird United Land rather than Antigua and Barbuda. With all that is happening in the police force imagine you jump on a plane and the IATA code say you are heading to BUL?

    • @Duncy Bat- You sound like an Ass Hole..Seriously..Do you have any idea how many Medical Institutions around the world is named after their founders etc? No need to even go as far as the US etc,just check Barbados & Jamaica. Its nothing new.Is the situation in the force the governments fault ? What does that have to do with this?.SMDH.

      • I like how you put your question. On which planet is lester bird the founder of MSJMC. As a matter of fact he and his labor party cronies which I am suspecting you might be also, are the first to frown on the services at MSJMC and run overseas for medical treatment even if it is slight JAB.

  7. There we go again the miseducated ignoramus negroes, full of hatred and envy that one of there own should not get any accolades… When will our zealots arrived. Do they think that Nelson Dockyard, Princess Margaret etc., names should changed. In there warped minds(NO)… These people were our Slave Masters.. LB wasn’t as bad. Give me an aspirin….It’s 2018 you hater’s are still sleeping through the revolution….

    • When Hon Lester Bird had the ground breaking, those wicked UPP went up there to Picket, trying to block it, and furthermore, UPP don’t have a say. We gave Gaston Browne government the mandate less than a month ago,to run the country. You guys couldnt get even get 2 seats, so that speaks for itself … we need to go back to the news papers to recall the amount of harassment he got for that building.God is good all of time

  8. Why not Doctor Ramsey medical center at least he made serious contributions to the health and wellness of the people of Antigua and Barbuda.

    • No, because the Hon Lester B Bird deserve all the glory for it,I need my uncle to bring me all the newspaper’s so I can post them

  9. What contributions did Barack Obama made to Antigua to have Buggy Peak named after him?? Sir Lester Baird has made his contributions to Antigua whether you haters want to admit it or not. Give the man his flowers while he still alive.

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