BASSETERRE, St Kitts, May 28, CMC – Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas has described Nevis first premier Dr Simeon Daniel, 78, as someone who had a direct impact on the social, political and economic evolution of the island.
“His was a life in which God-given talents were, through sustained effort and dedication, realized. And with his passing, we mark the end of an important era,” Dr. Douglas said in paying tribute to Daniel who died on Sunday.
Paying tribute to Daniel during a Requiem Mass for late Labour Party stalwarts on Sunday, Prime Minister Douglas noted that Daniel was one of the persons who interacted with the former prime minister Sir Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw and others who have served in his Cabinet at different times.
He said that Daniel, a founding member of the governing Nevis Reformation Party (NRF), had played a significant role in transforming the island for the benefit of Nevisians, and as a result, he had a direct impact on the social, political, and economic evolution of the island.
Daniel died after a prolonged illness and Prime Minister Douglas pledged to Premier Joseph Parry, the present premier of Nevis, “our full support as his colleagues go through this period of mourning as we too of the Federal Government, go through this period of mourning”.
Parry said Daniel, who voluntarily retired from active politics in 1992, had a political career punctuated by a number of major achievements.
“He had a major role in framing the Independence Constitution of St. Kitts and Nevis which led to the return of government to Nevis on Independence Day, September 19, 1983,” he said, noting that in the Independence Constitution, Daniel insisted on the insertion of Section 113 which allows for Nevis to secede from the Federal Union with St. Kitts.
“Dr. Simeon Daniel obviously is the father of modern Nevis and must be given every accolade and every honour due to one that has achieved so much for so many”.
Leader of the main opposition People’s Action Movement (PAM), Lindsay Grant said that Daniel’s death marked “the end of an era.
“Dr Daniel was a giant of a statesman in the cause of the federation of St. Kitts-Nevis,” Grant said, adding “he stood up almost single handedly to the power of the then premier Robert Bradshaw and he never backed down.
“The measure of the greatness of Dr. Simeon Daniel was the way in which he saw beyond his own belief in secession for Nevis. Sim Daniel put his belief on hold in the interest of unity between our two islands as the way forward for the betterment of the people of Nevis. Our country has lost one of its heroes. His path in the evolution of our national identity was a seminal one which cannot be overstated.”
No funeral arrangements have been announced for Daniel who served as premier from 1983-1992.