Prior to his burial on 7th April, 2011, the Book of Condolences was placed at Government Headquarters where persons were free to affix their signatures and pen words of encouragement and condolences to Sir Clement’s family.
A steady flow of residents visited Government Headquarters on Wednesday, 6th April, 2011 to sign the book, first of whom were current Governor General, His Excellency Sir Cuthbert Sebastian, and Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas.
The Prime Minister repeated his profound sadness to the family of Sir Clement.
“The entire country mourns the loss of one of our greatest sons. One who has served with distinction,” said Prime Minister Douglas. “He has been a role model for the people of St. Kitts and Nevis and the people of the Caribbean Region. … It is a sad day, but to some extent, it must be a day that brings some comfort to his family and relatives knowing that his life has not been in vain.”
Members of the general public echoed the sentiments of Prime Minister Douglas and noted the high esteem in which Sir Clement is held.
Attorney Reginald James noted that he received two appointments in a one month time span from the then Governor General, while serving in the field of community affairs. He recalled that Sir Clement was “kind” and described him as a “true professional.” He also highlighted the devotion Sir Clement had for his faith.
Civil servant Ryllis Vasquez extended condolences to the grieving family while recounting the many accomplishments of the former Governor General.
After expressing sympathies, photographer Leroy Willett hailed Sir Clement as a “pioneer” while chronicling his rise from a magistrate to the first Queen’s representative of the newly independent Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis in 1983.
“He was a common person, who came from a common place who had risen to [great heights]. We are very proud of Sir Clement, we are sorry for his death but you can take heart at how much he has given to this country,” Willett stressed.
Hugh Heyliger, former Minister of the People’s Action Movement (PAM) administration and current employee of the St. Kitts Nevis Government, told MiyVue.com that the Book of Condolences is an excellent opportunity to pay homage to a man who served his country with distinction.
“It is important because we are showing our respect and tribute to one of our nationals who has served with distinction and I think by doing that we showing our appreciation to Sir Clement for the excellent work that he did, not only in St. Kitts Nevis but across the Eastern Caribbean. We have got to begin to show respect to our native children who have contributed and Sir Clement really made a significant contribution; magistrate, judge, lawyer, Governor, Governor General. We need to stop and pay respect to our distinguished persons in our community.”
(This article was written with content incorporated from a SKNIS press release)