BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — The funeral service for the late former Speaker of the National Assembly, the Honourable Ivan Charles Buchanan, CBE, FRSH, JP, was held today at the Wesley Methodist Church on Seaton Street on the day he would have turned 98-years-old. The service was officiated by Reverend Mark Christmas, and Reverend Neville Buchanan, nephew of the deceased.
The funeral service was attended by family, friends, well-wishers and members of the Federal Parliament, including Deputy Prime Minister Honourable Shawn Richards; Honourable Eugene Hamilton; Senior Minister Honourable Vance Amory; Speaker of the House, Honourable Michael Perkins; Honourable Ian Liburd; Honourable Wendy Phipps, Deputy Speaker of the House, Honourable Akilah Byron-Nisbett. His Excellency the Governor General Sir S.W. Tapley Seaton, Living Hero, the Right Excellent and Right Honourable Sir Kennedy Simmonds; and Cabinet Secretary, s. Josephine Huggins.
Buchanan served as Speaker of the National Assembly for 10 years from February 6, 1985 to 1995 under the leadership of the Right Honourable Dr. Kenny Simmonds who at the time headed the People’s Action Movement (PAM) Administration.
“Ivan Buchanan was an outstanding patriot and lived a life of great service to the people of St. Kitts and Nevis,” said Sir Kennedy in honouring Buchanan.
Sir Tapley, a faithful friend of the late Speaker of the National Assembly, said “Ivan was the pre-eminent Speaker of the National Assembly. His tenure January 1985 to 1995 saw him achieve nationwide acclaim as the broadcasts of the proceedings endeared him to the population as ‘. Speaker’ and this endured long after his retirement. Everywhere we drove this was the greeting accorded him.”
Deputy Prime Minister Richards said “Uncle Ivan was a proud son of the rich Sandy Point soil. The town of Sandy Point has been known to produce many illustrious citizens who have made exceptionally sterling contributions towards the development of St. Kitts and Nevis and even further afield. Uncle Ivan is undoubtedly one of those Sandy Pointers who has left such an indelible mark.”
Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, in his written tribute said that he had the honour of seeing . Buchanan’s work up close as an elected member of Parliament from 1993.
“I found him to be a fair and impartial Speaker who sternly and effectively controlled the proceedings of the National Assembly. I count myself privileged to have played some part in the work of the National Assembly during the defining decade when he expertly presided over a generation of trailblazing lawmakers who introduced and passed substantive bills that changed the landscape of St. Kitts and Nevis for the better,” said Dr. Harris.
Minister Hamilton in his tribute said that anyone who took the time to engage with the late Speaker was “richly blessed as a result of the wisdom shared from his nine decades of experience.”
“His service to the National Assembly as Speaker stands as a guide for those who wish to offer themselves for public service and is admired by those whom he engaged from parliaments across the world. In my capacity as parliamentary representative for Constituency eight and also in my capacity as Leader of Government Business, I have had the privilege to learn at his feet, the essentials of conducting business at the parliamentary level,” he said.
The late Speaker also received several other written tributes from family and friends including members of the Legislature of the Virgin Islands.
He was eulogized by . Michael Morton, Former Chairman of the Board of the TDC Group of Companies. Buchanan worked at TDC for 14 years becoming Manager in the Automotive Division.
The civil servant of 27 years is survived by his wife of over four decades, s. Beatrice Buchanan, 10 children, three adopted children and many grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren.