NASSAU, The Bahamas – Former Cabinet Minister and Parliamentarian, Mr. Warren J. Levarity was laid to rest on Thursday, November 21. A state funeral was held at Christ Church Cathedral, where over three hundred persons gathered to pay their last respects. In attendance at the funeral were, Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie, accompanied by the majority of his cabinet, along with leader of the Opposition, Dr. Hubert Minnis and several members of the Free National Movement.
While paying tribute to Mr. Levarity, Prime Minister Christie called him, ‘one of the heroes of the Peaceful Revolution.’ He said that not only was the deceased a ‘good man’ but he was also a ‘great Bahamian.’
“He was man of great courage who, at the age of 28, went up against the power and might of one of the great bastions of the Old Guard, the Bethell family – that’s Bethell with two L’s. It was the 1960 bye-election in Grand Bahama and in the end, like David of old, the man we lay to rest today triumphed against enormous odds,” said Mr. Christie.
He said that Mr. Levarity played an ‘influential role in the National Committee for Positive Action – the NCPA – the group that radicalized the Struggle for Majority Rule.’
“And it was this same man, this same Warren J. Levarity, who would go on to serve in the very first cabinet of the Majority Rule era as the Minister responsible for the Family Islands, or “Out Islands” as we used to call them back then,” said Mr. Christie.
He also pointed out that with Warren Levarity’s passing, the Hon. A.D. Hanna has now become the ‘Last Man Standing,’ that is, the last surviving member of the first cabinet of the Majority Rule era.
He said that Mr. Levarity’s contributions were not limited to the attainment of Majority Rule, his service as a minister of government in the first Majority Rule, or with his representation in Parliament as the member for West End & Bimini.
“In what must be reckoned as another contribution of major significance to national development, Warren Levarity also became one of the Founding Fathers of the Free National Movement. In doing so, he helped ensure the survival of the two-party system that lies at the very heart of our constitutional democracy,” he said.
In his tribute to Mr. Levarity, Former Governor-General, Sir Arthur Foulkes reminisced about their time together in the political arena. He said that he considered Mr. Levarity to be a friend who really and truly loved his country and his family.
Leader of the Opposition, the Hon. Dr. Hubert A. Minnis said that Mr. Levarity was ‘a man not ahead of his time but a man on time’ who was also a visionary. Dr. Minnis said that Mr. Levarity paved the way not only for fellow FNM leaders but also leaders of all political ‘persuasions.’
The Reverend Canon Norman Lightbourne, Rector of Holy Cross Anglican Church, served as celebrant of the service. He was assisted by Rev. Fr. Richard Wood, Rev. Fr. Mark Lindsay and Rev. Fr. John Kabiga.
Interment followed at Lakeview Cemetery on John F. Kennedy Drive.