Tim Hector's Eulogy by George Odlum


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Editor’s Note: It is not generally known but sources close to him have revealed that George Odlum’s farewell to Tim Hector was written to be read by Hector at his (Odlum’s) funeral. Odlum was then, by all accounts, conscious of his imminent demise.

Not without cause, several of the lines eulogizing Hector obviously related to the life of George Odlum.
“I come to bury Hector, not to praise him. The evil that men do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones—so let it be with Hector! I have no record of evil in the life of Tim Hector, many mischiefs but not evil. Let the catalogue of his goodness be interred with his bones.
“Dear Brother and Comrade-in-arms I have no need to praise you since our friendship and our lives together has been a mutual hosanna of praise in acceptance and affirmation of the principles we stood for and the values we espoused. We did this in the face of tremendous odds and spirited opposition from a society whose philistinism has become a by-word.
“Ironically you lived and died in the pursuit of a body of values, which were meant to elevate a Caribbean society and forge a creative and dynamic people out of the detritus which history had bequeathed on us. You fought to explain that history and analyze it in the interest of the ordinary man and woman, but the forces of reaction were strongly arrayed against you.
“My colleague and friend, St Lucia’s Noble Laureate Derek Walcott insists that if you give a man an education or a gun, you lose an honest laborer. What Walcott was trying to convey was that education had the power to transform dross into fine metal. It elevated, it aroused and it empowered man to reach for otherwise unattainable heights.
“This was your vision that if you persisted in fanning the flames of enlightenment that your fellow Caribbean man and woman would see the shooting star of liberation and emancipation and reach for the skies.
“As you lie there, motionless and still in your fine resplendent mahogany casket I cannot help but feel a sense of mockery that the same society which vilified and ridiculed you when your strident voice embarrassed them with your message and your clarion calls, is the same society that will embrace and elevate you now that your mighty heart is lying still. Where is the logic in this, my Brother?
“Are we so crazed with insecurity and self-abnegation that we court our own disaster and demise by destroying the catalyst for our liberation? When Othello in Shakespeare murdered his own loving Desdemona, Shakespeare wrote: ‘Like a base Indian he threw away a pearl richer than all his tribe.’
“Today, as I contemplate your mortality, Brother, I cannot suppress the insistent feeling that the people of Antigua, and to a lesser extent, the people of the Caribbean have thrown away a pearl richer than all their tribe.
“This is a serious accusation to make against a society that has turned out in large numbers to pay homage to this dead Viking. But many of you stood by over the years and witnessed the victimization and demoralization of Tim Hector and never lifted a finger to prevent it. Were you there? Were you there when they crucified Tim Hector? Were you there? Were you there when they nailed him to the cross? Were you there? Were you there when they dragged him through the courts? Were you there? Were you there when they dumped him in the prison for his views?
“Were you there? Were you there when they burnt his printing press? Were you there? Were you there when they murdered his dear wife Arah? Were you there? Were you there when the ballot process was contaminated to declare him a loser? Were you there? Were you there when they denied this prophet any honor in his own country? Were you there?
“My Brother, you have loved too much to have suffered so much in a society that you devoted your life to change for a people that you love so much. But there is no room for regrets in the straightened confines of your coffin because love is the revolutionary’s credo and if we must reach for Walcott again: ‘Love is the stone speech that outlives both ash and mourning. Love is the stone speech that outlives both ash and mourning.’
“Now I must contemplate the prospect of a life without the edifying discourses that we shared trying to put the world to rights. I will miss the sheer brilliance of your intellect, which I always felt to be about the best in the entire Caribbean even surpassing the brilliance of the closet intellectuals who were always too timid and pusillanimous to ply their wares in the marketplace. Your battles were open, fearless and committed. They, the intellectuals, looked from a distance and might well have supported your positions but couldn’t afford the terror of facing an establishment that was more interested in quenching fires than in fanning flames.
“In all this your contribution to Antigua and to the entire Caribbean has been phenomenal. Your championship of Caribbean integration has been sustained and unchanging and never turned on the vagaries of politics or political opportunism. It was such a delight for me to hear you ridiculed as a one-percenter who could only attract a negligible amount of store-bought votes and yet to see you soar to great heights in defending the calumnies against those whom you fought so fiercely.
“In your mahogany silence today there must be time to reflect with me on the achievements of half-a-century of struggle. Were your gargantuan efforts at educating the public, enlightening the youth, providing a role model for integrity and honesty realized in the type of society we are leaving behind? Many lives were claimed in the struggle for liberation and integration. Maurice succumbed. Walter fell. Michael passed on. Rosie expired and now you are about to enter the Valhalla for fallen strugglers. . . You have left behind a desperately divided society, bereft of values, overcome by consumerism, a crippling materialism, rudderless and floundering youth and a hopelessness that saps the creative energy that we fought to excite. Fortunately you have left behind a loving wife and a family who have endured your suffering and will stand by your principles.
“But my dear Brother, do not be too complacent in your casket. Do not go gentle into the dark night. Rage! Rage! Against the passing of the light. Rage into the consciousness of the young that they too will be moved to keep the fire burning and fan the flame for humanity.
“See you soon in Valhalla. Your comrade-in-arms George Odlum.”

November 19, 2002
Antigua Recreation Grounds


New member
knew it was u

wassup stranger..long time no see or talk!!!!!..lol
i didnt know u were on imix!! luv the name..lol

great article:) ..... he will always be remembered and respected .

wasnt able to send my condolenses, please accept them.
hope all is well.

ps-if u still dont know who this is.
2 clues: ex-convent girl (class of '97), "mopride's" cousin :D

PM me!!!


That was TRULY an EXCELLENT eulogy.

RISE up BLACK MAN. Your people AWAITS U!