Barbados Prime Minister David Thompson dead of cancer at 48

Father, Husband, Son, Prime Minister: David Thompson passes at home, surrounded by family

“Know for sure that this experience has brought me much closer to God, whose compassionate love and grace I commend to you based particularly on my personal experience these past six months.

I invite you to continue to uphold my family and me in prayer at home and at church; in communities and in neighbourhoods wherever you meet. May God comfort everyone who may have lost relatives in recent times; may He bless all who are faced with personal and health challenges; indeed, may He bless each and every family of St John; each and every child.”

… from the Prime Minister’s last letter to his St. John constituents (full text below)

David John Howard Thompson went to be with the Lord on Saturday, October 23, 2010 at about 2:10am. He fought hard, with courage and with the dignity that was always part of his character in public and in private – but in the end the best medicine and doctors could not defeat the pancreatic cancer that claimed him.

Still, it is a mercy that he had time to prepare himself, his loved ones, his friends and his beloved Barbados for his passing.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Mara, and his three daughters Misha, Oya  and Osa and David’s mum, Margaret Knight.

Here is David Thompson’s final letter to the people of St. John, as released ten days ago…

“Dear Loving People of St John,

Since 1987 when you first embraced me as your friend and then your elected representative, it has been my happy privilege to be among you on a frequent basis. In recent months, however, I have not been able to visit you in your homes, have a drink with you in the shops, worship with you or even share a joke on the block. As you know, I have had some serious health challenges which have curtailed my active life, including my enjoyable sojourns to St John to see you.

You would have heard from me on every occasion that I have shared my sentiments with the entire country. But for me that’s simply not enough for the the people of St John, given the very close relationship which has always been renewed through our face-to-face contact throughout these past 23 years.

Life has been lonely without you. I have therefore decided to write you a more personalised letter.

In my quiet moments I have happily replayed in my mind the truly splendid times we have shared on the hard courts at Gall Hill; on the streets of Cherry Grove; the hills of Society; and in the hamlets of Venture and Edgehill; and the neighbourhoods of Massiah Street, Mount Tabor and Wilson Hill.

I yearn for a special opportunity in the not-too-distant future to be able to do it all over and over again. And with your prayers and God’s help I will. In the meantime, the programme to improve the quality of life for you is being given the special attention it always deserved, and which I have personally been able to direct since January 2008.

There is more work to be done that will be done. There will be personal needs to be attended to, and you are already aware of the well-known persons in your community with whom you can be in contact for assistance and direction.

They are under instruction to act on my behalf because I am yours and you are mine.

Be comforted in the knowledge that while I dearly love all of Barbados, the special bond between you the people of St John and me is unshakeable, even in difficult times of sickness and separation.

Know for sure that this experience has brought me much closer to God, whose compassionate love and grace I commend to you based particularly on my personal experience these past six months.

I invite you to continue to uphold my family and me in prayer at home and at church; in communities and in neighbourhoods wherever you meet. May God comfort everyone who may have lost relatives in recent times; may He bless all who are faced with personal and health challenges; indeed, may He bless each and every family of St John; each and every child.

I remain not just your caring Prime Minister, but your dedicated representative and your true friend and confidant.”



Filed under Barbados

46 responses to “Barbados Prime Minister David Thompson dead of cancer at 48

  1. bajan kidd

    I am terribly saddened by the passing of our beloved Prime Minister, my condolences to his family. He will be missed.

  2. expatriate

    God’s gift to us is our life, our gift to god is what we do with our life. That being said, David Thompson must very well have pleased god.I offer my deepest sympathy to the Tompson family, and the people of Barbados. David Thompson’s service to god,family and country, was one intended to uplift, and he offered yeoman service to many Barbadians all over the world. Although I am immensely saddened by the Prime Minister’s passing, I am confident in the majesty and wisdom of god. For it is he god, the supreme architect of this universe, that has drawn upon his great plan for us all. It is clay, our mother earth of all the elements, who remain friendly to our existence, and we must be mindful, that when we are called to travel through the valley of death, it is clay our mother earth, that tenderly enfolds or remains, admonishing us that from clay we came and so to clay we must surely return. God rest your soul David, and may your entire family be protected in the name of god almighty.

  3. The Watcher

    The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

    Many of us across political and ideaological boundaries are saddened today by the passing of the Prime Minister. It is in this time of mourning that we should reflect on where we were as a country and where we want to be. Barbados has lost another great leader and thinker. so far, we have been fortunate as a country to be blessed with these leaders. We may not always be this fortunte.
    Let us focus on the task ahead of us and continue, by our efforts, to see this country through these tough times.
    The psalmist says: I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills…

  4. May legions of angels be forever vigil over David John Howard Thompson’s valiance. Profound respect to his wife, daughters, parents & siblings… Requiescat En Pace.

  5. Johnny Postle

    A sad day in the history of Barbados. A man whose political career and complete devotion to the development of Barbados will be long remembered.

    The Postle family extend sincere condolences to the family and friends of the Late Prime Minister David Thompson. Grace be extended to all

  6. passin thru

    What a nice photo of the Thompson family. I like that instead of the ‘formal’ photo everyone else is showing. David Thompson’s smile like I remember him and as I prefer to remember him. All class!

    Prayers for the childrens.

  7. His poor mother!!

    She raised a bunch of boys
    and I’m pretty sure David was the last.
    He was ‘the baby’ of the family.

    Her other boys were good lads, but a bit on the wild side
    and she was determined to make something of the last one.

    In the early 1980s, I lived nearby in Fitts Village
    when David was a teenager in Sixth Form,etc.
    She wouldn’t let him run with the others.
    She kept him home, perhaps rightly.

    She was grooming him for better things than riding motorcycles with us guys.
    Her work paid off.
    David ultimately became PM of Barbados and she was justifiably proud.

    Now this!
    It must be crushing for her.

    Margaret Knight deserves at least as much sympathy as does Mara and the 3 girls
    for no parent ever needs to bury a child.

    Life is supposed to work the other way around.
    Kids bury their parents ultimately
    NOT the other way around.

    May he rest in peace.

  8. The Psychologist

    All of the religious amphibiology aside – it is always sad when a family man/woman passes at such a young age. It’s as if one’s opportunity to see the fruition of one’s aspirations has been stolen.

    I knew Margaret from teen-age years! She was quite a gal! Dashing, bold, comical, optimistic…

    At this time the whole family is together and they’ll draw strength and comfort from each other. And they will feel the outpouring of love from all Bajans.

    Farewell David.

  9. David G. Brooks


  10. expatriate

    Almighty and most everlasting god, it is you who allowed us to be conceived, and to flourish into adulthood. Father, when you call us into your presence again, we humbly come, knowing that it is you who knows best. Father god, I beg you to steady this ship of state, bless the new Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, touch his heart that he may listen to your everlasting counsel. Father god I ask this day in the name of Jesus, that you will continually bless and unite all Barbadians. This I ask in god’s name, amen.

  11. Bajan-Yankee

    I have seen Mr. Thompson on numerous occasions but never spoke to him at any length as he was my father’s friend and not mine. I had just called my uncle who was helping him get some projects in place before the worst happened not 45 min. ago to ask after him and received the news that he had passed. Having read these touching tributes especially those comparing him to Barrow, I find myself wishing that I had made an effort in those days to get to know him. Politics is a dirty business by its very nature but it is the obligation of a politician, at the very least to do his dirt FOR the people not at their expense. It seems Mr. Thompson was a man who refused to get dirty and instead took a brush and some soap to it. God bless him for that. I live in America as I have most of my life but I will always treasure the near decade I spent in Barbados during my 20′s. It was when I really learned what life, kindness, brotherhood and hard work was really all about. Reports from home these days are not good. All my family seems to think Barbados has lost her way and I wonder if a small part of this tremendous grief all Barbadians feel is because it seems we have lost one of our last chances to get Bim back on track. Barbados is a magical place, we have our faults, our fights and our problems but when it counts we pull together strong. In this great man’s memory I hope that Barbados will have a”Renaissance” and treasure a way of life and society that is disappearing into the endless materialism of the modern world. That shared strength and love is the allure that brings people from all over the world to our shores. It’s all we really have of any value. God Bless and speed his soul on its way, Soothe the pain of those he leaves behind and always continue to bless Barbados.

  12. Politically Tired

    Such sad news. May he rest in peace. Thoughts and prayers are with his family.

  13. Everton Bend

    My beloved Barbaods has now lost one of its most honoured sons.
    Fare thee well David and may your soul rest in peace.
    Condolences to the Thompson family and to all my fellow Barbadians wherever we may be.

  14. permres

    I know many of us uphold the cliche that God works in mysterious ways. However, those of us who really believe in the supreme sovereignship of our Almighty God, will understand that He placed David Thompson as our Prime Minister in January 2008, already knowing that He would take him from us in October 2010.

    I think we all need to think and pray about this very sincerely, especially our politicians. We should take this clear message from Jesus as a wake-up call to put aside our personal ambitions, to reflect on David’s honesty, and his commitment to the spiritual well-being of us all.

    I do not think God does work in mysterious ways. In our grief we should all reflect on where David wanted Barbados to go, and do our utmost, both in private and public life, to see its fulfilment.

    When he became Prime Minister, he came up against some very evil forces, and was therefore not able to implement all of the things he promised. So God takes him away from us, and now it is up to us to see his legacy through.

    God bless you David Thompson, my condolences to all of his family and friends, may you rest in peace.

  15. sherry ann

    I know there is so much he wanted to am not from st.john but I loved you as a prime minister

    You will be miss deeply sherry and asha you will live on love you thompson family sadness and hapiness in one

  16. My condolence goes out to Mrs. Mara Thompson,his 3 wonderful children parents /family and to the people Barbados.I was was so shock this morning as my sister called to give me the bad news that our beloved Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Mr. David Thompson has passed away after loseing the battle with cancer; we have truely lost a great son of the soil who taught us the importance of family and showing love to our fellow man, he will surely be missed by us all.
    I have lost today a good friend who I have known for many years but the burden was to much and God took him from his suffering, as one writer had said the attacks on him during the hard economic times ,which I might add were not only B’dos but all over the World even in the big USA, but I hope that his massage for a better Barbados and those who knows him respect his wishes and lets prayer for his family in their moments of sorrow,may God bless them all and bless Barbados….

  17. J

    We brought NOTHING into this world and it is certain we can carry NOTHING out.

    The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away.

    Blessed is the Name of the Lord.

    Job 1:21

  18. Pingback: Top Posts —

  19. Lady Mara Thompson and family,please except our sympathy and our love. Mara Thompson for MP for st.John. I am looking forward. You have my vote.

  20. Man of God

    As we continue to uphold the Thompson family, new PM and government in prayer, a query remains. Has any other country, outside of an election, ever had a change in the leadership of the two main parties in the same week?

  21. Seibert Straughn (Chairman of National Sport Council)

    It is with deep sadness and regret that we have learned of the
    passing of the Honorable David Thompson, Prime Minister of
    our beloved country. Mr. Thompson has truly served Barbados
    and indeed the wider Caribbean with distinction. As an avid
    sports fan and an ardent promoter of the value of investment in
    youth, Mr. Thompson has given much support over the years, to
    the furtherance of our sports and cultural industries.
    The Chairman, Board, Management and staff of the National
    Sports Council and the entire sporting organizations in
    Barbados, we are very grateful for the support which his
    government has given, as they have sought to improve both our
    human and physical sports capital.
    We therefore wish to extend our deepest sympathy to his wife Mara, his children and other members of his family, and to the government and people of Barbados. May he rest in peace.

  22. Sonny

    That should be “First Lady”, Maria Thompson.

  23. Shocking. As a tourist I never came into contact with the island’s politics. But that is how it should be; I never felt like I had to, say, “tip” a policeman. (Unlike in, I am told, Mexico.) My sincere condolences for your loss.

  24. such sad news i lost a very good friend to the same cancer in june. my thoughts are with his family

  25. Joanne and Barry Forde

    You will continually be held in high esteem. Thank you for your commitment and all your hard work in this life. Sent on behalf of the Forde family in the UK. May you rest in peace and your family be comforted.

  26. HM

    So saddened when I heard the news. R.I.P.

  27. It is with profound sadness that I regret the passing of the late Right Honourable Prime Minister David Thompson. Prime Minister Thompson was a gentleman and through his actions he reminded me of the late John.F.Kennedy’s speech entitled, “Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You, But What You Can Do For Your Country”. In other words, he was always willing to serve and portrayed the philosophy of “For Others And Not For Self”. He was a very caring and altruistic individual. In essence, I would like to extend sincere condolences to Prime Minister Thompson’s family, relatives, friends and colleagues. I encourage all Barbadians in such a time as this, to seek solace from the biblical verse “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46 vs 1).
    Jamal Dottin- UWI Student (Faculty of Social Sciences)

  28. Pingback: Global Voices in English » Barbados: A Nation Mourns

  29. Pingback: Barbados: A Nation Mourns :: Elites TV

  30. Concerned

    I want to offer my condolences to the family and friends of Prime Minister David Thompson, as well to all of the lives he touched during his lifetime. I have only one question, have any offerings of condolences come from the Guyanese government?


    I join the barbadian people and the rest of the world to extend my condolences to the THOMPSON’S FAMILY may god richly bless them in this time of their grief, on behalf of my family and I.

  32. bajeabroad

    President Jadgeo… The Region’s lost a true leader
    Written by
    Sunday, 24 October 2010 04:42
    – One who placed country, people above self
    PRESIDENT Bharrat Jagdeo has dispatched a message to Acting Prime Minister of Barbados, Mr. Freundel Stuart on the death of Prime Minister David Thompson. The message reads:
    “On behalf of the Government and people of Guyana and on my own personal behalf, I extend deepest sympathies to the Government and people of Barbados on the passing of the Honourable David Thompson, Prime Minister of Barbados.
    “Prime Minister Thompson earned the respect of the people of Guyana, and I am sure that of the entire Region, through the tremendous courage and dignity which he displayed to the end. In this we saw his true quality as a leader — one who placed his country and people above himself.
    “As I reflect upon my close, though short, association with him as we worked to further the cause of the integration of our peoples and Region, I know that he was driven by an intense passion to serve his nation; to ensure that the people of Barbados could enjoy a high quality of life, and to position his country on a path of even greater economic stability and social development.
    “Please convey to his dear wife and children our heartfelt condolences on their tragic loss. As they and the nation of Barbados mourn his passing, I trust that they will be comforted in the knowledge that our thoughts and prayers are with them at this difficult time.”

  33. Sanjean

    Rest In Peace, our wonderfully talented and gracious Prime Minister. I met him at Gatwick Airport in November 2008. I was in duty free and saw him and said hello and commended him on his party winning the election. He was very pleasant, gracious and polite, he asked if I was returning to Barbados permanently. I was actually flying out to attend my Aunts 80th Birthday celebration. He wished her well and hoped we enjoyed the party. To his wife Mara and children, mother Margaret and the entire family circle my thoughts are with you all at this extremely diffucult time. He is indeed ‘gone too soon’ May his soul rest in peace, may God continue to watch over and bless his family and our great nation Barbados.

  34. one who knows

    David Thompson was a good man who wanted to do so much but he was prevented by his cabinet. They refused to budge on the integrity legislation, freedom of information and all that. The draft legislation has been ready for 13 months to place before parliament. Did you know that? True. David Thompson wanted foi, code of conduct for ministers etc etc etc etc. He led the horses to the water but he could not make them drink.

  35. Precious One

    we mourn the loss of a great man, a great leader and friend to many. I met Mr. Thompson at my grandfather’s 100th birthday celebration in July 2008. Even though, he wasn’t the representative for the area, the celebration was held in St. John and he agreed to attend and greet my grandfather. He held us in conversation as we awaited the GG arrival and we all felt at ease in his presence. I was especially proud to meet him and introduced my five year old daughter to him. we will miss him dearly ‘gone too soon’. To his wife, children, parents, siblings, our deepest sympathy. May He Rest in Peace.

  36. bajandave

    I always admired Prime Minister Thompson as a man who was passionate about his country and its future, and also a dedicated family man. My thoughts and prayers go out to his wife and young daughters at this time. May God bless them and keep them in His tender care. I pray also that his colleagues left to carry on after him will put their egos aside and do what is best for the country. May he rest in peace.

  37. Cherylann Sylvester

    Our Beloved Prime Minister you will be missed. Your legacy will stand the test of time. I was there in beautiful Barbados for your election one that will never be forgotten. You have touch the hearts of people in Barbados and accross the ocean. We will mourn for you but take pleasure in knowning that you have gone home to be with the Lord. No more suffering.

    Barbados stand tall and strong.

  38. My condolences to his family and to Barbados. This is indeed sad. Wishing his family strength, and hopefully the transition on leadership will be handled with wisdom and grace.

  39. He’s Gone Too Soon

    Honorable David J H Thompson, the Prime Minister of Barbados
    Expired peacefully and is no longer with us
    Suffers no more with arduous pain

    Gone Too Soon but his legacy will remain
    Our Prime Minister was foremost a family man and friend
    Never gave up his will to help others through to the end
    Endured in faith and led us responsibly

    Took time for all Bajans and especially
    Our Prime Minister ruled among us, walked where we would
    Over the lengths and breadths of each neighborhood

    Showed us to treat each other like one big family
    One nation of Peace, Love and Unity
    Oh how it hurts that this great servant of the people is gone
    Now we mourn, He’s Gone Too Soon but his legacy will live on

    Please See This Card

  40. Weekes

    I have a copy of the Nation Speical Edition dated Saturday October 23, 2010 which has many lovley pictures of the late Prime Minister , Honarable Mr. David Thompson, and also many wonderful tributes and condolences. I will treasure this Special Edition, always.

    I must say, however, I noticed, on page 19 a very nice condolence by Bizzy Williams, WILLIAMS INDUSTRIES INC. which had inserted a picture of Bizzy Williams, and I was somwhat surprised and disturbed and wondered could this be an error or is this really what the individual thinks if fitting under these circumstances.
    I consider it, extremely bad taste, and would never have expected this of Bizzy Williams.

  41. Linda and Richard Berson

    We visted the Prime Minister’s home as guests in January of 2010 as guests of the Prime Minister as people who have visited your country for at least 5 consecutive years- a rogram he instituted.
    It was a cocktail party and Prime Minister Thompson and his lovely wife mingled among usand were willing to answer any questions.
    As we arrived by bus, maybe 150 people, children sang to us as we ascended the stairs, inside high school students greeted us and later in the program a choir of younger children sang two songs for us.
    It was a night I shall never forget.
    We have pictures with the Prime Ministe and his wife that we shall print and add to out official invitation and frame to display proudly forever.
    We wish Mrs Thompson and her childen much sympathy and strength to get through these trying days.
    God Bless you all.
    Linda and richard

  42. Politically Tired

    Beautiful & heart felt.
    thank you.

  43. GABI

    The sad news early Saturday morning of October 23rd 2010 concerning the passing of the former Prime Minister of Barbados, the Honorable David Thompson, has been heartrending to all.

    Mr. Thompson had been battling pancreatic cancer for months and while he confronted his disease with fortitude and courage, we all knew that his was a mighty challenge that could end his mortality we were all nonetheless deeply saddened and overwhelmed by his death.
    This is a most difficult time for the former Prime Minister’s wife, children, family, government and people of Barbados for at age 48; Mr. Thompson departs us at the prime of his intellectual prowess. Barbadians should all be comforted that the thoughts and prayers of all Guyanese are with them at this time of grief and sorrow.

    President Bharat Jagdeo in extending deepest condolences on behalf of the government and people of Guyana remarked that Prime Minister Thompson had earned the respect of the people of Guyana and, “I am sure that of the entire Region through the tremendous courage and dignity which he displayed to the end. In this we saw his true quality as a leader – one who placed his country and people above himself.”

    On behalf of the executive and members of the Guyanese Association of Barbados Inc. (GABI) and all Guyanese living in Barbados, GABI extend heartfelt sympathies to former Prime Minister David Thompson’s wife Mara, his daughters Misha, OsaMaria and Oya , his family, the government and people of Barbados on his passing.

    God bless Barbados. God bless the family of David Thompson during this time and always. May he rest in eternal peace..

    Guyanese Association of Barbados Inc. (GABI)

  44. Ruthy Richards Levi

    Our thoughts and prayer are with the family of David Thompson ,may his memory be a blessing for always.RIP.

  45. shelley collymore

    It is always difficult to find the appropriate words to convey to the family of a loved one who has passed away. I can only say to the wife, daughters and other family members of Prime Minister Thompson that time alone can heal the yawning gap that has been created by the physical exit of a person who has had such a tremendous impact and influence on the political and social landscape of a country. Although I never knew nor met Prime Minister Thompson, the measure of the man as a distinguished Caribbean personality has left a lasting impression on the minds of all persons within the West Indian diaspora. PM Thompson will not be just a name in the history of Barbados; the mention of his name will always bring to mind a person who truly loved and served his country well. Well done PM Thompson, very well done… your memory will remain with us forever.

  46. Because he lives , we die. Accept his will ,never ask why? He charts the course that this great land will sail , he makes the choice, can a gang of five prevail?Keep the faith .