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Leonard Tim Hector

A Man For All Seasons

The Most Distinguished Antiguan Citizen

He made a positive difference in the lives of people across the Globe.  Born on Lower Newgate Street to the late Mable Hector, from a very early age Tim distinguished himself as an exceptional student at St. Mildred's School, the St. John's Boys School and the Antigua Grammar School. He would later be regarded for his acuity of mind when he studied at the Universities of Acadia and McGill of Canada.

A product of his environment, Tim was greatly influenced by his grandfather, whose love for knowledge was insatiable. The name 'Tim' he carries is a shortened version of 'Timoshenko', the name of a well-known Russian General of the period, with which his grandfather had dubbed him.

In his grandfather's home, forever the center of ardent discussion on World Affairs, Literature, Sports, in particular Cricket, and Music, young Hector was exposed early to the cut and thrust of debate and the marshal ling of information and facts by the autodidacts of the day. It would make a lasting impression on his alert and fertile mind.

At a later stage this vast interest from Anthropology to Dominoes, from World Politics to Boxing, so typical of the Renaissance man, would be further enhanced by what Hector himself on several occasions has fondly referred to as the "University of Chelsea". At this 'Chelsea University', at the corner of Newgate and Thames Streets, the progressives then, constantly debated Caribbean Integration, the Cuban Revolution, the anti colonial struggle - raging at the time, Trade Unionism and a host of other topics.

His passion for Journalism would be fired at the same time when as a stripling he would write for The Workers' Voice and engage in discussions with the likes of the late Novelle Richards, Lionel Hurst and McChesney George at 46 North Street. Later he would be a contributor to the Antigua Star newspaper and eventually its Editor in Chief.

On finishing his High School Certificate at the AGS he became one of the youngest teachers ever at the school. With his usual verve and tenacity of purpose, he set about, as a mere youth, to counter the colonial education of the times by introducing his students to a new world of learning. For the first time students were exposed to new ideas and thinkers.

Far and wide today, his former students acclaim the indelible mark he has left in creating in them a genuine love for knowledge, and a hunger and thirst for justice. Awarded a scholarship, Hector studied in Canada up to 1967 eventually breaking off his postgraduate studies to return home where he felt his contribution was most needed at this particular juncture of Antigua's social and political development.

A protégé of the internationally acclaimed thinker and political activist C. L. R. James he was intent upon introducing a New Order in Antigua and the Caribbean and immediately became active in politics. In a very short while his organizational and journalistic abilities were fully utilized. He became the Chairman of the Progressive Labor Movement (PLM), an executive member of the Public Service Association and the Antigua Workers Union (AWU). His stamp on the Trumpet, organ of the AWU is still recalled today.

Antigua Caribbean Liberation Movement

A founder of the Antigua Caribbean Liberation Movement (ACLM) in 1968, he would struggle relentlessly for the next two decades as one of its leaders for the social, political and economic transformation of Antigua-Barbuda and the region. Not by politics alone, Tim was a man of many parts and plunged himself with equal fervor into the development of sports. A sports analyst, commentator and administrator, he has been recognized globally for his tireless work in this field.

Forever keen to equip himself in whatever discipline, he attended an advanced university program for Sports Administrators at Sussex University sponsored by the International Olympics Committee. As usual his outstanding administrative ability and knowledge of Sports in general were noted.

On his return in 1967, in addition to his political activities he devoted time and energy to one of his first loves - Cricket. He was most instrumental in the reorganization of Cricket in Antigua, the Leewards and the West Indies. He served at every level of cricket administration in the region, from executive member of the Antigua Cricket Association, to the Leewards Board, to Manager of the Combined Islands, rising to the very top as a member of the West Indies Cricket Board where he was greatly respected.

To this day his ideas on the development of Cricket in the region are widely sought after. During his tenure as cricket administrator, a number of Leeward players rose to prominence as Test players for West Indies. He has appeared on several occasions on TV in the region and in the U.K. discussing the game of cricket in all its facets.

A tireless worker, he also developed a keen interest in Agriculture, to the point where he owned a farm and sought to address the question of production in our society. This experiment in reorganizing agricultural production was aborted by a most tragic domestic event. He continues to read widely, familiarizing himself with the subject, convinced that the reorganization of Agricultural Production holds the key to the transformation of Antigua-Barbuda.

Journalism Sports Education Awards

Tim has been the recipient of numerous awards for his contribution to Journalism, Sports and Education. Respected internationally for his incisive and thought-provoking articles, as Editor of the Outlet Newspaper, he is renown for his investigative reports and has won acclaim the world over for such investigative work as the exposure of Space Research Corporation (SRC) in sending arms to South Africa, and the transshipment of guns via Antigua to Medellin Cartel in Columbia. For his journalistic work PEN, an international writers' organization gave him an award. A most fitting tribute by a most prestigious body.

An invitation to address the United Nations on the Space Research Corporation issue was a notable high point in his illustrious career, and would have to be one of the proudest moments, in that he was able to go beyond the awful shame of Antigua-Barbuda's involvement with SRC by ensuring the Liberation and Freedom of Southern Africa with the exposure of this heinous affair.

Unconstitutional Public Order Amendment Act

He has fought relentlessly and unflinchingly for press freedom and the freedom of speech in Antigua and the wider region. He has suffered harassment and incarceration in order to maintain press freedom. Perhaps his crowning glory in the struggle for a free press was when the Privy Council in 1990, in a landmark decision, ruled in favor of democracy and press freedom by overturning an insidious and unconstitutional Public Order Amendment Act. A blow, over and above partisan politics, was struck here for a fundamental human right.

As an Educator, Tim has been invited by some of the leading international institutions of learning - Cornell, Brown, Columbia, University of Toronto and others to lecture on a wide range of topics. In the early 90's he lectured at the University of Miami in Caribbean, African and Latin American Literature at post-graduate level. As a teacher in his homeland he has done yeoman service having taught at the All Saints Secondary School, Antigua Girls High School, Princess Margaret School, Teachers Training College and Hill Secondary School.

A man of indefatigable energy he exudes the same confidence, and boundless energy with which we have come to associate him after decades of making a most vital contribution to life in Antigua and Barbuda. One could essentially sum up Tim Hector with the phrase "out of one - many" - Journalist, Educator, Sports Administrator, Political Activist and Intellectual - indeed a multi-faceted person.

Antigua-Barbuda, the region and the international community owe Tim Hector a debt of gratitude and therefore salute him for his contribution to the development of humanity. May he and his family continue to enjoy health and happiness in the pursuit of his noble ideals and goals.

By Conrad Luke