Dr. Harris, via a press release, recounted his last encounter with Dr. Warner before he departed this life on 16th May, 2011.
“I was taken a back on learning that Dr Asyl Warner had passed. His death reminds us that we are not our own Master. God is still in control. The last time I saw him, he lay in bed at the Intensive Care Unit at Joseph Nathaniel France Hospital .He was visibly in pain. But he forced himself to smile in his usual affable way, welcoming me.
“I assured him of the power of prayer. It is an assurance he must have had because he was a religious man. Many may recall his last programme before Easter on the topic of forgiveness. Being human we err. I trust that Dr Warner received forgiveness from our merciful God .Whenever we met he also had positive word for me. I appreciated that.”
Dr. Warner was a regular fixture at radio station WINNFM 98.9, where he hosted the programme “University of the Air” on Wednesdays. Minister Harris noted that Dr. Warner not only raised the level of national discussions but he also “brought to the layman a deeper understanding of complex issues including matters relating to the political economy. One would not have agreed with his every position and stance on the matters he addressed but one admired him for his efforts to lift national debate to a higher level.”
Referring to him as “a man of the people”, Dr. Harris expressed that Dr. Warner served his country well, both as a civil servant and as a lecturer at the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College (CFBC) and the University of the West Indies (UWI).
“The younger generations recall his many lectures at the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College and at the University of the West Indies Open Campus. He was passionate, brilliant and at times controversial. He was a lecturer that motivated and encouraged his students. He was also assisted in preparing students for debating competitions.
“Dr. Warner was an excellent public servant. He served the country abroad and at home utilizing his many assets to our country’s credit and development. He served not only in the Foreign Service but in the Ministry of Communications, Works and Posts and as Permanent Secretary for many years…Our country has lost one of its great intellectuals.”
Senior Minister Harris extended condolences to Dr. Warner’s friends and family members and also his hope that “the many happy moments which he shared with them and his excellent service to our country will cause them to celebrate his mortal life which was lived in service and humility.”