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J'can pastor pays tribute to St Vincent social, political activist

Saturday, August 12, 2017

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NEW YORK, United States (CMC) — A Jamaican-born United Methodist Church pastor in the United States, says the death of St Vincent and the Grenadines social and political activist, Oscar Allen, is not only a loss not to the Caribbean island, but also the entire Americas.

Allen, 75, died after undergoing a medical procedure in his homeland with Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves describing him as “one of our outstanding sons”.

The Rev Patrick Perrin, an ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church, told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that Allen's death has left him with “a sense of sadness and profound loss,” describing Allen as “a man for all seasons.”

He said Allen was “a man with a keen mind, sharp thinking, brilliant intellect, deep passion and even deeper compassion for the poor.

“Oscar knew very clearly what his mission was. Loosely labelled a radical, and frequently identified as a Marxist and socialist, Oscar remained unfased. No label accurately pigeon-holed him. He was very well centered and secure within himself, as would have been discovered by anyone who took the time to know him. The leaders of our church did not take that time. They did not know him!”

Amidst Marxist-Leninists, Rev Perrin said Allen would stand in contradistinction, pointing out the flaws and foibles of doctrinaire socialists in many of their positions and especially in a Caribbean context.

“He would probably see himself more in line with Mao Tse Tung. But, even then, he would critique some of the actions of the great Chinese communist leader. Oscar was very concerned that many of the revolutionary leaders lacked genuine solidarity with the poor.

“It was clear to me that the only credible model of leadership that Oscar could find and would espouse was none other than that of Jesus of Nazareth,”Perrin added.


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