The UWI mourns the passing of Sir Selvyn Walter

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The passing of Sir Selvyn Walter represents a monumental loss of intellectual forte, cultural pride and patriotism for the nation of Antigua and Barbuda and The University of the West Indies (The UWI) community.

Sir Selvyn attended The UWI Mona Campus in the 60s and played a leading role in what at the time was an extremely successful debate team. He would regale his listeners with stories and lessons from the regional university, eternally proud to be a Pelican.

Throughout his career and retirement, people continuously sought Sir Selvyn’s perspective on matters pertinent to local and regional issues.

Sir Selvyn was a renaissance man. His significant contributions to his country were immense and varied, spanning culture, commerce, history, music, the literary arts and politics.

He was a prolific writer, chronicling culture, folklore, history and sports in books and series. His rivalled literary collections with his collection of artefacts, making his home a veritable museum.

Sir Selvyn also built a solid reputation, starting early in life and continuing through his later years, as a newspaperman, lending his knowledge and expertise to nation building via the fourth estate. He was a teacher and motivator, generously sharing what he knew with anyone with whom he came in contact.

In addition, he was an orator extraordinaire, whether he was speaking with politicians, captains of industry or keeping court with the customers to his bakery. He loved his country, he loved people and he loved to laugh.

On the political field, Sir Selvyn secured his place in history when as a young, first-time challenger he defeated a four-time and senior incumbent, Sir Vere C. Bird in the 1971 elections. He served as Minister of Economic Development and Tourism in the Progressive Labour Movement (PLM) administration.

Although he stopped journeying to the media company where he last worked circa 2014, Sir Selvyn continued to write and give guidance from home for a long time afterward. In 2013, on the Nation’s 32nd Anniversary of Independence, a knighthood was conferred upon him for his contributions to the country.

The UWI community extends heartfelt condolences to Sir Selvyn’s family, friends and colleagues.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Notes From A Native Son Of The Rock! “A Day Late and a Dollar Short!”

    The Afrocentric paradigm is a revolutionary shift in thinking proposed as a constructural adjustment to black disorientation, dislocation, decenteredness, and lack of agency. … what natural responses would occur in the relationships, attitudes toward the environment, kinship patterns, preferences for colors, type of religion, and historical referent points for African people if there had not been any intervention of colonialism or enslavement? Afrocentricity answers this question by asserting the central role of the African subject within the context of African history, thereby removing Europe, the Middle East and Asia from the center of the African reality. In this way, Afrocentricity becomes a revolutionary idea because it studies ideas, concepts, events, personalities, and political and economic processes from a standpoint of black people as subjects and not as objects, basing all knowledge on the authentic interrogation of location.” Dr. Molefi Asante, Afrocentricity, The Theory of Social Change!

    Why was he not made First Chair of the Board of Trustees at UWI Five Islands as a Historical Referent Point rather than giving that honour to the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps., a Middle Easterner and not a person of African Descent in this the International Decade for People of African Descent 2015 -2024!

    How can GoAB and UWI tout Reparatory Justice Abroad and do nothing at Home in the Leading Higher Education Institution! Maybe! Just Maybe! The Chief of Staff has the appropriate response for our aspiring youth! That burden should not be placed on the Antigua And Barbuda Chair of the Reparations Committee!

    “The contribution of Africans and people of African descent to world civilization before and after the advent of the Transatlantic Slave trade remains an important part of the silence and denial that informs the making of the modern world. Only significant advances in research, publication, and curriculum development can facilitate the laying of foundations for exploding harmful myths and other forms of distortion that have enlivened racist thinking and actions. We believe that such a facility can also play an active role in the global search, safe repatriation and preservation of historical artifacts. The countries of origin of such artifacts have a right to integrate an understanding of the past within the modalities of public display.

    “We are cognizant that this second phase of globalization, following upon the first that was characterized by the universalization of racialised chattel enslavement of Africans, also carries with it the potential for both considerable human progress and an enormous increase in levels of racialised misery. It is the principal contradiction of our time, and we need not repeat the tragic errors of the first phase. We must continue to learn from our past, and in so doing prepare with earnest to fashion a new approach to globalization that will neither foster nor rekindle the racism of old or new forms of ethnic conflict and intolerance. This phase of globalization must not be allowed to mature with race and ethnicity as organizing principles and universalised negative racial images.

    “Following the first phase of globalization, despite the transformations associated with emancipation and a century later national Independence, people of African descent, because of persistence racism, continue to be marginalised within economic institutions and environments. We have called for the creation of a culture of democracy within our economy as part of the process of redress and reparations. We call for this process on a national as well as an international level. Democracy for us is not only about the operations of the political system, but a system that is also reflected in the functions of the economy as seen in access to the ownership and possession of productive resources.” – The Head of the Barbados Delegation, Professor Hilary Beckles, Durban, South Africa, September 2001!

  2. Wow! John French II it is the first time I can say that I am in total agreement with you. I would just add though that the AFROCENTRIC PARADIGM is a world view which allows us to see through all the lies of the EUROCENTRIC world view that was taught to us in primary, secondary and even tertiary education. Those lies are now falling by the wayside as the knowledge of Africa’s contribution to world civilization is becoming more and more to the forefront of epistemology. It is getting to the point where eurocentric scholarship and academia is now relenting under the barage of compelling evidence of the previous falsification of human development and history.

  3. Well said John French II.You and I have not seen eye to eye in the past.We have had our differences,as Boxborough.This time you hit it out of the Park.

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