On Tuesday, October 1st, Dominicans remembered and mourned the passing of late Honorable Prime Minister, Roosevelt Douglas on the 19th anniversary of his death.
Roosevelt Bernard Douglas, affectionately known as “Rosie” passed away eight months after being sworn into office as Prime Minister of Dominica on October 1st 2000.
He was also the leader of the Dominica Labour Party during this time.
By the late 1960s, after hearing Martin Luther King speak at the Massey lectures at the University of Toronto, Douglas had become an active supporter of the civil rights movement befriending the likes of King and Stokely Carmichael.
Douglas, along with community leaders organized the Montreal Congress of Black Writers.
He stood out, being wrongfully imprisoned for 18 months in Canada prior to being deported.
His imprisonment was led by accusations of Douglas being the ring leader of a conflict and violent fire against police at a racism protest. It was later confirmed that he was not even present at the time of the conflict.
He was deported in hand cuffs and leg irons but Douglas vowed that he would only return home as Prime Minister of Dominica.
Vibes news spoke with his nephew, Sean Douglas who describes his uncle as a selfless and admirable political leader.
“He was so selfless. He did not think at all about material things like houses, lands or cars. Whatever he had, he gave it. I remember that when I think about him. He was committed to the poor and the plight of the downtrodden. If he had a dollar, he would give it away.”
He revealed to Dominica Vibes plans for a memorial activity which will take place at the Roosevelt Douglas Primary School in honor of the late Dominica leader on October 14th, one day before his birthday.