AMORY PHILLIPS – A SPECIAL TRIBUTE. WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2011. 3
EULOGY for Amory James Navarro Phillips, written by Anthony Phillips and read by Keith Simmons.
AMORY JAMES NAVARRO PHILLIPS was born to James Adolphus Phillips and Genetha Ermane Phillips on November 10, 1934, at Durham, St Lucy. He was educated at the St Clements Boys School, The St Giles Boys School, and won a scholarship to Combermere School. At school he proved to be well disciplined in both academics and sports. At Combermere he showed his prowess at cricket in an era when the Combermere cricket team was promoted from the Intermediate Division to the First Division and defeated all the teams except Spartan. Let us recall that this team also included Wes Hall, Peter Lashley, Rawle Brancker and Wilfred Wood (who became the first Black Bishop of the Church of England). Some.Old Combermerians here may recall that Amory was Captain of Set E. As soon as he left school, Amory went to work as a clerk at Plantations Ltd., Speightstown, under the tutelage of the manager Keith Jordan, Jackie Skeete, and others. Amory rapidly became an expert in lumber. He was therefore in an excellent position to join with others from Barbados, Jamaica and elsewhere to establish maybe the first Pan-Caribbean company, widely known as the Barbados Lumber Company Ltd. It was also particularly noteworthy as a Black company venturing into an area of operations historically dominated by, in effect, a cartel of White merchants.
Fortunately, the socio-economic changes in Barbados meant that by 1973 the demand for lumber and building supplies was trending upward. The Errol Barrow government approved a lease of a site at Waterford, St Michael, which remains the headquarters of the company. The branch in Speightstown was established in 1976. With increasing gusto the Barbados Lumber Company has been able to celebrate its 10th, 20th and 30th anniversaries. The celebration in December 2003 at the Accra Hotel was particularly splendid – four persons received 30year service awards, two persons 25-year service awards, and two persons the 20-year service award. In the tribute from the Barbados Lumber Company it was acknowledged that he had built “a cadre of loyal employees who have remained with the company through
thick and thin” and that “through his work with the company he helped many middle and lower income Barbadians to own and maintain a home”. With a concern for the promotion of social justice, Amory became a member of the Democratic Labour Party on December 20, 1963. He held many positions within the party including, for example, Vice President, Member of the General Council, Member of the Executive Council, and Chairman of the Auditorium Committee. In recognition of Phillips’ interest in community building, he was appointed chairman of the governing body of the St Lucy Secondary School. He was also particularly closely linked to the North Stars Cultural and Social Club of Crab Hill, St Lucy. In their tribute in THE NATION on October 12 the Club stated: “Mr. Phillips will be remembered for his business • Continued on next page.