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Rickey Singh pays tribute to literary icon George Lamming

June 5th, 2022

Rickey Singh paid tribute to his close friend and renowned Barbadian author, George Lamming.

Lamming passed away on Saturday four days shy of his 95th birthday on Wednesday.

That full tribute follows:

It is with deep sadness that I learned today of the passing of my dear friend and brother, the esteemed author and  social commentator George Lamming. His extensive body of work reflects a deep and personal understanding of the complex historical, cultural and political landscape of the region.


His was a powerful Caribbean voice – one that is urgently required even now, as CARICOM hovers over important decisions to be made on the 2022 Summit of the Americas. He was well known as an outstanding and a fearless voice against external pressures aimed at undermining national and regional unity and political sovereignty. There is no doubt that he would have advised Caribbean governments to absent themselves from this gathering.


George was a man of tremendous courage, singular in his undaunted pursuit of truth and justice. My family must forever be grateful to him when in 1983, he assembled and led students on a peaceful march to protest the revocation of my work permit because of my criticism of the ill-fated Grenada invasion.

He never shied away, nor was he ever ambivalent when it came to urging the CARICOM governments never to waver when the moment arose to be firm in their solidarity on commonly held values, or their right to regional unity and relationship.

George’s influence on academia and political thought has been profound. It was my good fortune to listen to him deliver various public lectures across the campuses of the University of the West Indies.  Particularly memorable, was an event at the Cave Hill campus in 2004, where  in his unique baritone, for a breathtaking two hours, he masterfully weaved together a review of four decades of his literary work.

George commanded respect for his unflinching forthrightness whenever the occasion arose, of speaking truth to power – especially when it came to the preservation and dignity of the call to leadership of the CARICOM member states.

There was  also a gentleness and humility to George that was rarely seen save for those intimate with him. On occasion I witnessed his quiet and respectful acquiesce to his mother’s playful chiding. He loved her dearly. He was and will always be remembered by me as a journalist who had the privilege of having a close and special friendship with such a brilliant scholar, and a great man.

May God grant you peace dear George. Farewell from all the family.  


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