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Former Prime Minister of Dominica Edison James pays tribute to the late former Parliamentarian Francois Barrie

Former Prime Minister of Dominica Edison James who led the United Workers Party (UWP) to government in the 1995 general elections of which Francois Barrie was a part, has described the late former Parliamentarian as “an outstanding citizen.”

Francois Barrie died at his home in the Kallinago Territory on September 3, 2023, at the age of 79. He had been ailing for some time and also spent a few days at the Dominica China Friendship Hospital (DCFH).

In an interview with DBS radio, James stated that the late Francois Barrie was “an outstanding citizen deeply concerned about the plights of his Kallinago people.”

“He was a consummate Parliamentary representative, a man who paid deep attention to the issues surrounding his people,” James said.

According to James, the late Francois Barrie always carried a notepad with him to take his notes either for things he had to do for his constituents, or things that were requested of him and would be noted in his notebook and “ticked off.”

“He also played a leading role in the decision-making of the government that I led to extend the land in the Kallinago Territory by 93 acres. He was also proud to have led the charge to bring water to the Territory and also the work on the Barona Aute and the development of agriculture,” he stated.

James remarked that even after his exit from the political arena, the late Francois Barrie continued to express his concerns for the Territory. “A number of concerns were expressed by him about what he thought was the abandonment of the Kallinago Territory,”.

The late Barrie was a sports fan particularly cricket, James stated, and that the late former Parliamentary representative played a pivotal role in the development of Jolly John’s Park in the Kallinago Territory and was also a statistician. “When we talk about cricket and facts and figures, you talk about Francois Barrie and also the economic activities of the country,” James remarked.

Barrie he said was also a frequent visitor to his home and he would also pay him visits in return. “He is a man that I will miss immensely and I think that the people of the Kallinago Territory are poorer through his passing. I am sure that his Soul is Resting in Peace,” the former Dominica Prime Minister stated. ( from 1995-January 2000).

Born on February 17, 1944, in what was then the Carib Territory, Francois Bernard Barrie first served as Parliamentary representative for the Salybia/Atkinson constituency from December 28, 1993, in a by-election after serving 31 years in the teaching profession.

He was returned as Parliamentary representative again in the 1995 general elections and made a Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Education & Sports. He contested again in 2000 but lost to Kelly Graneau of the Dominica Labour Party (DLP).