A Celebration of the life of Bert Tucker: Belizean Renaissance Man
“It is in the confluence of our minds where all rivers meet, you’ll find me there at the Zambezi”-Bert Tucker
The Patrimony and Stewardship Working Group (PSWG) join with our Belizean compatriots in condolences to the mother, children, family, friends at home, the diaspora, and other regions of the world on the passing of our brother, son of the Belizean soil, Ambassador Adalbert Tucker.
The veritable Belizean Renaissance Man par excellence non pareil, our dear friend and mentor, Ambassador Adalbert Tucker, was one of the brightest and most loyal facets of our jewel.
Bert had astounding capacity, genuine humility, and from his vessel and learning and understanding, he unselfishly poured out his God-given talent and wisdom: even as this was always replenished. He grew our attention span and analytical capabilities. Sharing from his earliest teachings and discipline, private schooling under Miss Annette Maheia – through to Belize Technical College, University of the West Indies and Harvard the witticisms, anecdotes, philosophies he applied himself Walter Rodney-like to school our people.
Our Belizean brother Bert was a peer to Belizean luminaries like late Edward Laing, the late Dr. Neil Garbutt, Dr. Lennox Pike, and Nadia Cattouse, whose navel string remained buried here as they sojourned with one standard – Excellence at home and abroad. He was in international “confraternity” with Prof. Hilary Beckles of UWI, Prof. Robert Hill of UCLA, and others who exemplified people through their wisdom. That Bert Tucker was a confidante and student supporter of Belizean national hero, Hon. Phillip S. W. Goldson and as well, Belizean legend Henry Fairweather, reflects his strong character, honed in great part from those two great mentors of his.
Bert was advisor to governments in various regions including our Caribbean, Africa and here at home. He also took a strong position that individual citizenry have governmental responsibility.
Mr. Tucker used to counsel us to not conclude things to be coincidence but to be receptive and gracious of providence, especially with respect to God’s gift of our country, Belize, to us.
He wanted to come home and made that spiritual journey “traveling” in the Creole colloquial sense even before he succumbed to his illness. His BELRIV project started on the banks of the Belize River in brotherhood with Lascelle Bowen and the Hon. Godwin Hulse proffered to Belize and the world true-true example of sustainable development which could be adapted into the environmental mainstream. Bert, the sage and prolific scribe, was also consummate and he lectured and maintained the need for research reconnection, renewal, rebirth, repatriation, reparation, and that the only standard the country and people of Belize should settle for is excellence in the forging of our nation with our example and gift of “humanity to the world”.
He counseled that we can’t have protected species/areas, while our young men remain endangered species. Bert Tucker’s vision and writing lessons encompass his legacy to Belize which will continue to illuminate the pathway ahead through generations as we hold on to our patrimony. He declared the Belize Public Meetings hundreds of years ago in our country, as one of the earliest rudimentary example of democracy. Bert’s favourite reflections was “At the confluence where all the rivers meet, you’ll find me at the Zambezi” Bert believed we must work like the productive wee-wee ants collectively instead of the individual me-me attitude in people.
HE GAVE US BACK SAMUEL HAYNES. Bert was bespoke, so we share a bit as written by Bert Tucker.
The God of love created everything
Everything was in His plan
Everything had a purpose
Everything is cared for
Everything is precious
Everything must be preserved
The human route-LA RUTA HUMANA
Because we must change
None but ourselves; let’s get growing
2020 is seven years away
Bert would say
2020 represents perfect vision
We can see it before we get there
Together we must take the appropriate action
Quoting Hon. Phillip Goldson
Bert would say,
“We must fight the right fight”
The things that challenge us
Is only pretend
For once a people become mobilized
In righteousness there is no
Force that can stop them
Do the research; we need to get the facts
And then do the interpretation
Together as a people unified
Engaged in prosperity. Let’s get growing!!!
Belize, Our Common ground to Sanctuary.
On his final journey to the banks of the Zambezi, shoulder to shoulder with his, compatriots, this Renaissance Man, Adalbert Tucker marches to the music of his favorite Jazz saxophonist, John Coltrane and his song "Wise One".
A Wise One has passed on our Renaissance Man! now we Listen to his voice as he speaks from the Zambezi.
========================“MAHOGANY MAN,” BERT TUCKER SUCCUMBS TO PROSTATE CANCER IN JAMAICA
Adalbert “Bert” Tucker, Belize’s Ambassador for Foreign Trade in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, famously known for his activism for the community-based project, the Belize River Valley Development Program (BELRIV), passed away last Thursday in Jamaica after his battle with prostate cancer—one of the leading cancers among Belizean men and the ailment which recently claimed the life of another well-known Belizean, attorney Lionel Welch.
Belize’s Honorary Consul in Jamaica, Elecif Arthurs, told Amandala this morning that Tucker will be buried in Belize and they are in the process of registering his death and preparing the body for burial within the next two weeks. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, she said, will make a formal announcement.
Tucker had recently traveled to Jamaica to seek treatment for his condition, but his condition was reportedly too far advanced.
Tucker is a former United Nations Advisor to several countries in the Caribbean and Africa. He is a graduate of the University of the West Indies and Harvard.
When he was appointed as Foreign Trade Ambassador in 2008, National Assembly Clerk Eddie Webster said that Tucker brought to the table a unique mixture of national and international experience.
“He has worked at the UN for the advancement and development of the human race, the rights of women and children. He worked in a number of the trouble spots across the world, especially in Africa and in the Caribbean.
“In Belize, he was the founding member of the Isaiah Morter organization. He pioneered the development of the BELRIV ‘OASIS,’ and for me, that is where we actually met”, Webster said.
Webster went on to note that, “Internationally, [Tucker] acted as consultant in the western and southern African countries like Liberia and Zimbabwe. Since 2001, he has been an adviser/consultant for the Mandela Center and he is a visiting lecturer for a number of universities in the world and, in particular, again, in the United States, in Africa as well as the Caribbean.”
Tucker was the leading advocate for the work of Henry C. Fairweather, the “Mahogany Man,” in his mission to reclaim Belize’s mahogany legacy by the replanting of trees in the BELRIV area.
Tucker himself also became known as the “Mahogany Man.”Amandala
Amandala, From the Publisher:
Bert Tucker was a world class technocrat and scholar. After acquiring a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of the West Indies, he later did post-graduate work in law and international relations at Harvard, the United States’ most prestigious university. Bert worked in international development as a consultant/adviser for three decades in fourteen countries, including Jamaica, Grenada, and Namibia.
It is because of his involvement in the rebuilding of Jamaica during the Michael Manley era, the rebuilding of Grenada during the Maurice Bishop era, and the rebuilding of Namibia during the era of SWAPO (the Southwest Africa People’s Organization) that Bert Tucker became iconic in anti-imperialist circles in Belize and the region. During the periods when he worked in those three countries, they were virtual war zones, so it is for sure that Brother Bert was a brave warrior.
It is a disappointment to me that, to the best of my knowledge, he never published written material about his experiences in those important revolutionary situations. Over the years there were several occasions on which we spent time together in lengthy conversations. This was a brilliant and extremely witty man. He had been many places and seen many different things. It was always a pleasure to sit with him.
Bert was very much a Caribbean man. It seems to me that he was working in the public service here when he got an opportunity in the later 1960s to travel to Jamaica for higher studies. He fell in love with Jamaica, I think, and Jamaica became his door to the world.
Bert was three plus years older than I. When I got a break as a teenager to travel to the United States in 1965 for higher studies, Bert and his young wife were living in an alley on West Canal practically next door to my family home on #1 West Canal. On several occasions, Bert and I shared our separate happy memories of “Empty Chair,” the Keith Lyn hit that ruled the canalside the night of my farewell party.
I got a break in life. Bert Tucker made his break, and became world class in his areas of specialization. I give him great respect, and mourn his untimely passing. There was so much more he had yet to give Belize. I extend my deepest condolences to my brother’s family and friends.