Prime Minister Harris’ Tribute to Sir Probyn Inniss

The Reverend Billy Graham is attributed with saying: “The greatest legacy one can pass on to one’s children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one’s life, but rather a legacy of character and faith.”

For those who had the chance to behold the ineffable grace and quiet dignity of Sir Probyn Inniss, MBE – a cultured and erudite man who put on no airs and always placed God, family and country first – his illustrious legacy will remain with us forever.

Over the past week, Sir Probyn’s indelible impact on 20th-century life in St. Kitts and Nevis – and indeed the Caribbean – has been discussed in our workplaces and homes, on the TV and radio airwaves, and also in church services, Bible study groups and prayer meetings, as well as during the proceedings marking the opening of a second High Court Chamber, and in other fora.

The consensus is that the death of Sir Probyn Inniss is a profound loss that extends to every facet of our society, and it is this knowledge that his beloved family should find strength in as they mourn for him.

During this difficult time, I encourage them to reflect on the immortal and deeply moving words of William Wordsworth whose poem Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood comforts the reader, saying:

“What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind;”

When I heard the sad news of Sir Probyn’s passing on Sunday, March 12th, 2017, I, along with Honourable Senator Akilah Byron-Nisbett, visited Lady Rosamund Inniss, who is his dear wife of some 55 years, and other family members, and we talked about his remarkable life and service to others.

I once again extend heartfelt condolences to Lady Inniss; their children Mrs. Angela Inniss-Hodge, Ms. Marcia Inniss and Mr. Probyn E. Inniss, Jr.; their grandchildren, and other family members. The Government and people of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis join with you to mourn the tremendous loss of Sir Probyn whose thumbprint will forever be on the annals of history.

Sir Probyn rendered distinguished service as a Governor; civil servant; heritage proponent, most notably as the longstanding President of the Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park Society; historian; lawyer; preacher in the Methodist Church St. Kitts Circuit; teacher, and writer.

Sir Probyn was a man who made significant contributions to the nation – not for recognition, but for love of country. He was a fitting exemplar of St. Kitts and Nevis’ motto Country Above Self, and he will be deeply, deeply missed by all those whose lives he touched.

Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris
Prime Minister

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