The Botanical Gardens has been renamed in honour of Sir Eric Matthew Gairy, Grenada’s Father of Independence and former Prime Minister.
The area is now known as the Sir Eric Matthew Gairy Botanical Gardens, and in his honour as well, a monument has been erected at the entrance of the gardens. Earlier this year, then Culture Minister, Senator Brenda Hood announced that the gardens would be renamed after the former leader.
Government officials, former parliamentarians and relatives all reminisced on ‘Uncle Gairy,’ as he was affectionately known to many, during an unveiling ceremony last Friday.
Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell who Sir Eric referred to as his political son, said the renaming of the gardens is fitting; as the former leader shaped Grenada into what it is today. He challenged politicians to take a page from the leader’s book. “In my view, I think this is a fitting tribute, what we are doing here today to a man who has sacrificed a lot, coming from the country side in those days without a formal education,” Prime Minister Mitchell pointed out.
“To challenge the status quo as Gairy did took a lot of courage, a lot of bravery. It was not easy, and the colonial masters were not easy to deal with, in the context of challenging their power.”
Tourism and Culture Minister Hon Clarice Modeste Curwen said the memories of Gairy’s great leadership should not be allowed to die. “A well-known writer, William Shakespeare, he said, ‘the good that men do is often interred with their bones.’ Brothers and sisters we could not let that happen to Sir Eric Matthew Gairy, to Uncle Gairy,” Minister Modeste said.
Alexis Gairy, son of Sir Eric Gairy, said he always admired his father’s passion and commitment to building Grenada. He said it is important that Grenada celebrates his father’s soul.
“This man singularly loved Grenada. Unyielding passions came with him, but one thing that was always singular about my father Sir Eric was his passion for Grenada,” said Alexis. “I believe his soul will never die, and we are celebrating his soul; we are celebrating his passion and to see him through his soul, is to see Grenada through all its possibilities, it’s greatness and what it can be because that was his vision and what he has true for Grenada.”