The late Thomas “Tom” Walcott, 87, an engineer by profession and stalwart member of the St Lucia Labour Party (SLP) is being remembered as a “loyal soldier,” and an advocate for unity and strength among party members and citizens of this country, generally.
Walcott’s passing on January 25, has left a void in the SLP ranks and its wider membership for his dedicated service and loyalty to people and country.
Walcott won wide admiration among the SLP fold for having played pivotal roles within the Labour Party, and contributing significantly to the party’s victories at the polls over the years.
Prime Minister and SLP Political Leader Philip J Pierre recalled that: “Tom Walcott was my friend, advisor, critic, consoler, and epitomised Labour. The news of his death … took me on a journey of fond memories, struggles, and victories.”
PM Pierre adds that, from his entry into the political arena, Walcott’s “unwavering support and loyalty guided me along a path which led me to becoming the Prime Minister of this country, an achievement which I am grateful that he got to witness.”
The SLP leader continued, “Tom believed in service to his country and his Party. He was guided by a philosophy of ‘not what my party can do for me, but what I can do for my party’ – that is how much he loved, lived and breathed the Labour Party.”
The SLP, in a statement notes that, “It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Chairman Emeritus, Tom Walcott.”
The release adds, “Thomas ‘Tom’ Walcott departs, leaving a legacy of loyalty, dedication and commitment to the Saint Lucia Labour Party.
“We will miss him dearly! May He Rest in Peace.”
SLP Communications Director Jawahir stated, “Walcott’s contributions, resilience, and steadfast commitment to the Saint Lucia Labour Party will be remembered as a cornerstone of the party’s history. His passing marks the end of an era, leaving party members and supporters mourning the loss of a stalwart figure who played a crucial role in shaping the party’s success.”
Meanwhile, the heartfelt responses and condolences also came in from the local engineering field.
John Peters, well-known civil engineer recalls that as a young engineer in the 1980’s, there was a profound respect and admiration for the likes of Tom Walcott and Pat Brown “titans in the field of civil engineering.”
He noted that, “as I grew older my respect for his engineering genius increased. He loved structural engineering, and he would always talk about ‘moments’ (an engineering term), but his love for his country and desire to see Saint Lucia move forward was distinctive.”
Mark Hennecart, an engineer declared: “Farewell Cde. Without a doubt, the fraternity has lost another brilliant Structural Engineer. Walk well with your colleagues in the Ancestral Realm – Neville, Claude and Pat!”