Norman Girvan — the true Caribbean Man
The Cropper Foundation extends its deepest condolence to the family of Professor Norman Girvan, who died on Wednesday. He was a founding member of this foundation and was its chairman for 13 years. He has been justly eulogised as one of the Caribbean's and world's foremost intellectuals, and for being a leading voice on regional unity and global development.
Norman, though, was far more than a man of words and ideas who rubbed shoulders with the powerful. He was a man of conviction who worked hard, not for the honours and awards that were showered on him, but from selfless dedication to the Caribbean's people, whom he loved beyond measure, and the region's natural environment, which he fought tirelessly to protect. It is perhaps poetic that Norman, the Caribbean Man who was born in Jamaica and lived in Trinidad, would sustain his injuries in Dominica and die in Cuba.
In 2000, when Angela and John Cropper conceived a foundation that would strive to make Caribbean development environmentally sustainable and economically fair, Norman was first to sign on. All of the foundation's accomplishments bear his fingerprints; from assessments of the living resources of the Caribbean Sea and the production of environmental education material for the region's schools, to the development of a scheme that places monetary values to natural environments like forests and coral reefs so that they can be more easily integrated into the region's planning.
At 72, Norman seemed ageless and we have lost not just the man but all that he still had to give this country and the region.
The Cropper Foundation, too, will be poorer for Norman's loss, but richer for the trail this exemplary man blazed in realising the vision he shared with Angela and John. A humble giant of great intellect and ethics, and equally great humour and humanity. We are grateful that he lived.
Board of Trustees
The Cropper Foundation