Saint Lu­cia Labour Party Pays Trib­ute To Jeff Ste­wart

The Star (St. Lucia) - - COMMENT -

He was that rare breed of busi­ness­man, one with ‘coun­try first’ con­science. He was also some­one un­afraid to speak his mind, re­gard­less of whose toes he may have trod upon. For him, truth and ser­vice to coun­try were things al­ways to be pur­sued.

When in 1979, the Saint Lu­cia Labour Party formed the gov­ern­ment of Saint Lu­cia it tapped the ex­per­tise of Jef­frey Ste­wart and en­quired of him whether he would ac­cept the po­si­tion of Comptroller of In­land Rev­enue. Jeff—as he was more com­monly and af­fec­tion­ately known—had by then al­ready earned a rep­u­ta­tion for free and in­de­pen­dent think­ing and he agreed, with a caveat; there was to be no po­lit­i­cal in­ter­fer­ence.

Though his would be a short stint, com­par­a­tively speak­ing, his im­pact on rev­enue stim­u­la­tion re­mains some­thing spo­ken about even to­day, nearly four decades on. The stir­ring tes­ti­mo­ni­als of those who worked with him at the de­part­ment sug­gest a ten­ure of out­stand­ing achieve­ment.

Though Jeff was never a card-bear­ing mem­ber of the Saint Lu­cia Labour Party he was never shy about mak­ing known his views that the party’s phi­los­o­phy was nearer to his than that of other po­lit­i­cal en­ti­ties. That did not, how­ever, when the oc­ca­sion de­manded, pre­vent him from pub­licly dis­agree­ing with the party.

Po­lit­i­cal Leader Hon. Philip J. Pierre, upon learn­ing of Jeff’s pass­ing, spoke in glow­ing terms about Jeff’s pro­fes­sion­al­ism, and com­mit­ment to his coun­try, “Jeff was the con­sum­mate pro­fes­sional. He was some­one I could rely upon to speak openly and truth­fully with me. He was never too busy to pro­vide his views on any mat­ter which I may have raised with him. He would tell me if he dis­agreed with my po­si­tion and would sup­port me if he agreed. I shared with him my copy of the es­ti­mates of Rev­enue Ex­pen­di­ture and he al­ways wanted them as early as pos­si­ble af­ter re­lease. I will cer­tainly miss his wise coun­sel.”

The Saint Lu­cia Labour Party thanks Jef­fery Ste­wart for his ded­i­cated ser­vice to his coun­try and to the party.

To Dolores, his wife, and to his chil­dren, please ac­cept the Saint Lu­cia Labour Party’s deep­est con­do­lences and may Jeff’s soul rest in per­fect peace. He will not be for­got­ten.

Jef­fery Ste­wart had traits of in­de­pen­dence and al­ways speak­ing his mind which is what his fam­ily, friends and com­rades ap­pre­ci­ated about him.

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