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Tribute by CARICOM Secretary-General Dr Carla Barnett to the Hon George Lamming OCC

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) joins with the people of Barbados in mourning the passing of the Honourable George Lamming OCC.

Poet, novelist, essay writer, orator, lecturer, teacher, editor and tireless activist, George Lamming was more than a literary icon. He was an authentic Caribbean voice. In conferring the Community’s highest award, Order of the Caribbean Community (OCC), on Lamming in 2008, his citation noted that CARICOM was honouring “fifty-five years of extraordinary engagement with the responsibility of illuminating Caribbean identities, healing the wounds of erasure and fragmentation, envisioning possibilities, transcending inherited limitations and applauded his “intellectual energy, constancy of vision, and an unswerving dedication to the ideals of freedom and sovereignty.”

Those words fully encapsulated his extraordinary contribution to the Region he loved unreservedly and to which he dedicated his considerable skill. Our Community is richer for his interventions and poorer for his loss. George Lamming has left a treasure trove of works which remain relevant and reflects the Caribbean condition.

I extend deepest condolences to the family of Mr Lamming and the Government and people of Barbados on the death of this true Caribbean icon.

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