Sir Alister's legacy to The UWI is enduring

Thursday, April 25, 2019

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Dear Editor,

Grieve we must and grieve we shall. We grieve for ourselves because we have lost the light which Alister McIntyre shone upon the things many of us hold dear.

There are those who will speak eloquently about his skill as an economist and his efforts to have economic analysis inform Caribbean policy. But for our academy his death triggers memories of the good he wrought among and for us.

His legacy to our University of the West Indies is enduring and the many changes he introduced to improve its governance and management are withstanding the test of time. His image is graven upon the institution in physical and intellectual form. But there is no gift more critical for us and for generations to come than his skill in Grand Anse in 1989 in ensuring that the university would remain a regional institution in perpetuity.

His was an incurable optimism, for while he would sometimes bemoan the fact that many of the good ideas for a vibrant, puissant West Indies would be washed up on the beach of parochialism, he never lost the faith. And that was in part because his heart told him that the growth of tertiary education led by The UWI was a simple heuristic of progress towards the West Indies of his dream.

I trust the acute pain of the presence of his absence will fade for his family and all those who knew him and especially those of us who called him friend. I trust that that pain will be replaced by the glow of gratitude for what he meant and what he did when he laboured among us.

Sir George Alleyne

Former Chancellor

The University of the West Indies


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