I knew Clarvis Joseph for decades in his various capacities: Teacher, Businessman, Sports Administrator and Culture Enthusiast.
Each of these endeavors formed a part of his commitment to nation-building and to impacting the lives of Antiguans and Barbudans, individually and collectively, in a positive way.
In particular, he always found, or made, the time and energy to be an integral part of the struggles that spanned 1967 through 1976. And out of the positive developments of this period, he went on to serve in various capacities at the national level.
Among these he was Director and Head of the Chamber of Commerce; Chairman of the Port Authority and the St. John’s Terminal Operating Company; and Chairman of the Board of the Antigua Public Utilities Authority.
Having been born in the City of St. John’s during the period of colonialism, Clarvis held strong views on the socio-economic development of his country; and, at all times, he advocated for local and private-sector enterprises, believing in the importance of “ownership.”
For a short period, Clarvis taught me at the Greenbay Government School. In later years, he was instrumental in encouraging me to become more involved in trade unionism, and he was extremely supportive of my involvement in political life and the socio-economic transformation of his beloved country.
But he was not simply part of an audience. He was actively engaged in pushing the United Progressive Party to the front in the run-up to the 1999 elections and to victory in the 2004 polls.
And, yet, he never hesitated to let his views be known – even if they were opposed to, or at variance with, those of officialdom, including me or my administration.
His contributions to national life saw his involvement in Sports and Culture, as well. Clarvis was a sociable person and shrewd man, and he recognized both of these as avenues to put his people first – both nationals and Caribbean brothers and sisters – and promote us to, and on, the world stage.
In cricket administration, at home and in the region, his contributions are well documented and respected. He played a pivotal role in the relocation of the West Indies Cricket headquarters here, and this turned out to be a major accomplishment and positive development for Antigua & Barbuda and, indeed, the Eastern Caribbean.
Clarvis’ involvement with the Steelband Movement over the years is equally well known: from sponsorship and exposure to advocacy and advice. The Harmonites Steel Orchestra, one of the leading bands in Antigua and, undoubtedly, in the Caribbean, can attest to Clarvis’ pioneering and development work in this art form. And he not only worked for steelband, he enjoyed and gloried in it!
In Clarvis Joseph, Antigua & Barbuda has lost a national who proved his worth and played his part – in words and actions. He not only “talked the talk, but he walked the walk,” however long the journey was.
On behalf of the United Progressive Party, its Executive, and Membership, I am pleased and proud to declare: “Well done, Clarvis, thou good and faithful servant. Find peace and rest with and among the ancestors.”
Dr. W. Baldwin Spencer
Retired Political Leader – United Progressive Party
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