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Hector, who would have turned 60 on November 24, died on Tuesday last, within two weeks of returning from Cuba where he underwent treatment for his heart following cardiac surgery in Havana in February.
“THE ultimately passing of Tim Hector, of Antigua, one of the founders of the Afro-Caribbean liberation movement, has sent shockwaves through the Caribbean. The shocks are felt not only in political circles, and not only on the once vibrant left movements, but in wide circles of Caribbean society. The sad news also disturbed many of Mr. Hector's admirers on many continents. This is a ringing testimony to the wide influence of this true son of the Caribbean.
“He returned to Antigua after his formal university education in North America to continue higher education under the tutorship of CLR James, whom he and others have considered one of the leading social philosophers of our times, often leading in an interpretation of social, philosophical and political change in Europe. Tim Hector was an apt and studious pupil; one might even say disciple of CLR James, and came closest of all Caribbean activists to a full appreciation of his thought, social out look, and method of analysis of social developments.
“However, Hector's interests were not confined to politics. The scope of his interests and of his illuminating intelligence was revealed at least weekly in the OUTLET, the newspaper that he founded and edited, and which is perhaps the longest enduring weekly of that quality in the Caribbean and with few rivals elsewhere. Readers will agree that the OUTLET columns have prevailed as a source of astonishing exposition and debate, always well within the reach of readers, but always making us aware of a wider social universe. His weekly column `Fan the Flames’ was more often than not a classroom of distant learning as well as a source of entertainment of good quality. Whether it was a municipal election in some unknown Caribbean town, the banana crisis, globalisation, the inclusion of Roberts or Richards or Chanderpaul in the West Indies cricket team, or the relevance of Lamming or Naipaul, the flame could be relied on for both heat and light.
“For some two decades, Hector towered as a Caribbean and Antiguan public figure. He held public office only in very recent years as a Senator of an Opposition Alliance with which he later parted company. Tim Hector was above all an independent thinker, never willing to be anybody's puppet. He was almost crushed by the tragic death of his wife, Arah Hector, a woman activist, years ago, a tragedy that for many defined Antigua’s loss of innocence.
“The Working People's Alliance offers sympathy to his bereaved widow, his children, his other relatives, and to that company of Caribbean activists and thinkers, which will not be the same without Tim Hector.