AMORY PHILLIPS – A SPECIAL TRIBUTE. WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2011. 4
• From Page 3. acumen, his generosity and fairness, his graciousness, and his calm demeanour.” In 1986 Amory was appointed a Senator and continued to serve until 1994. He made his maiden speech at the third meeting he attended on the February 11, 1987. The debate was concerned with the purchase by the crown of a piece of land at Four Square, St Philip, for the construction of a fire station. On this and other occasions his speeches reflected his expertise with regard to construction. For example, he urged that the government’s housing policy should encourage the building of stone rather than wood houses. Again, referring to the use of iron bars on windows (March 11,1987): “Very often, Sir, you find yourself in a sort of prison situation from which there is no exit.” Phillips had a progressive view about the activity of wayside vendors: “These people have an initiative and a kind of understanding as to how their businesses should succeed. You would note, Sir, that they place themselves in strategic positions. In other words, they seem to make a market analysis as to the vehicular flow, the pedestrian flow and all the things related to their time of business.” Amory went on to encourage the government to provide lay-bys to encourage “these small businesses.” In seeking to promote entrepreneurship, and assistance to aspiring business owners Amory pointed to the significant role of the Barbados Development Bank. He linked this to the annual Wood-Working Competition and Exhibition the Barbados Lumber Company sponsored, and wondered what happened to the talent it showed year after year. He said “a good artisan is not always best at managing resources”. The Skills Training Programme and the Development Bank should be more active in assisting with the preparation of business development plans and technical guidance. Amory was able to put some of his recommendations into practice during the six years he was Chairman of the Board of the Barbados National Bank (BNB). In its tribute in THE NATION of October 13 the BNB noted that “his leadership positioned the bank for its eventual transition from state to majority private ownership.” Amory threw himself into horse racing with great enthusiasm. He often went to the Garrison to view the morning practice runs. He established smooth relationships with all within the racing fraternity ranging from stable hands to grooms, trainers, to officials and owners. In a published tribute in the Barbados Advocate of October 14, Sir David Seale, current president of the Barbados Turf Club drew attention to the following: “Amory was for many years President,
Chief Steward and a Director of the Club. History will reveal that it was under Amory’s Presidency that the Club and sport of horse racing made spectacular progress. . . . Amory Phillips loved horse racing and was a fixture at the Garrison . . . His easy-going style endeared him to all he came into contact with. The sport of racing will miss a true friend.” As with most owners, Amory’s racing successes were spotty. Adding a second string to his bow, he decided to establish The Cove Stud Farm. This venture produced a slightly greater success. Senator Dr Carl Clarke commented that these ventures “demonstrated to young Barbadians that the only doors closed to you are the doors you close yourself”. Amory’s success in public life was recognized in 1992 when he was honoured with the award of the Gold Crown of Merit (GCM). This award was presented by the Governor-General, the late Dame Nita Barrow, at Government House. Fellow Senators heaped praises upon him. Senator Carmeta Fraser said: “Up front in pushing arts and crafts, interested in young people and senior citizens. Debating in schools was his brainchild . . . loves Barbados with a passion.” Senator Tyrone Barker referred to him as: “a man of integrity without bitterness . . . without rancour.” Senator Maizie Barker-Welch insisted that with Amory one could always expect: “a certain amount of quiet calmness that is so lacking in today’s frenzied world.” Senator Anderson Morrison found that Amory was “the silent mover behind all things good and beautiful”. It is often said that if you want something done, you must ask a busy person. This was certainly true of Amory. Despite his busy schedule he always had time for his family. His children (Franz, Shelley Kay and Imran), his grand-children (Krystal, Chanel, Rena and Jaedyn), and his great grandchild (Alex) all have happy memories of fun times with him. Also, he was particularly pleased to host (along with his brothers Vin and Tony, and his daughter-in-law Ingred) celebrations at his home in honour of his mother’s birthdays leading up to her century. Similarly, functions were held from time to time to welcome visiting cousins, other relatives, and friends. It seems appropriate at this time to extend heartfelt sympathy and condolences to the family of the late Sir
Marcus Jordan, who was President of the Senate during Amory’s tenure. Amory James Navarro Phillips died at his residence, Cove House, on October 6, 2011 after a long illness. He leaves to mourn his immediate and extended family, and a multitude of friends. Indeed, he lived a full life. May he rest in peace.
RECEIVING his Gold Crown of Merit for his contribution to business, sport and public service from the late Dame Nita Barrow. (FP)