The United Democratic Party has suffered another major loss with the sudden passing of Herbert Panton. Panton, who is the husband of Albert Area Representative, Tracy Taegar Panton, died earlier today after being hospitalized overnight here in Belize City. A stalwart of the U.D.P., Panton served the party in many capacities, including holding the post of assistant secretary general. As an officer of the court, Panton also served as a senior magistrate in the Belize District jurisdiction. This afternoon, U.D.P. Chairman Mike Peyrefitte remembered his colleague in the legal fraternity and the party.
Mike Peyrefitte, Chairman, United Democratic Party
“I don’t have details as to what happened, all I know is that he was admitted to the hospital last night and today he succumbed to whatever he was admitted for last night. Other than that, I have no details but I think I can confirm indeed that he has passed.”
“Give us some background on Herbert Panton as a member of the United Democratic Party, one, and, secondly, as a brother in the legal fraternity.”
“In terms of the UDP, [he’s a] five-star general. There’s no bigger UDP than Herbert Panton, no bigger supporter of the UDP than Herbert Panton. It is a sad, sad day and his passing is a serious blow to the United Democratic Party, that’s all I can say. I’m still in shock. I still can’t believe, I couldn’t believe it when I first heard it and it’s going to be a huge, huge loss for us. In terms of a brother, I know Herbie always wanted to be a lawyer. He moved mountains to go to law school, he made all the necessary sacrifices. He was a magistrate even [and a] distinguished attorney and so we have lost not just a colleague, but a UDP brother and also a friend. He was the editor of the newspaper at one point, assistant secretary general of the party at one point. He has played so many different roles for the UDP and always one of those people who would be the first to put us right. One of the first persons to tell us what we were doing well, what we were doing wrong and he was a person who you would listen to, a person whose opinion mattered. And so, as an overall supporter of the party and an official of the party, his contributions are immeasurable and just, today we just miss him.”
“Could you speak to his brutal honesty, I know that on many occasions he may have rubbed some of the party members and supporters by being abrasive in some way, but he was known for his brutal honesty, correct?”
“But that’s what I just said, he would be the first one to put us right. He shot straight, that’s Herbie and in the contact sport of politics, you need that from within because it is that type of upfront, brutal honesty that prepares you for the real opponent.”
It is with heavy hearts that the United Democratic Party family mourns the sad passing of our dear friend and brother Herbert Panton: former Clerk of the National Assembly, Temporary Senator, Magistrate, Deputy Secretary General, Editor, Constituency Chairman and lifelong party stalwart.
We join hands and hearts in the expression of sincere condolences and deepest sympathies to Hon. Tracy Panton, their children Hope and Adreanna and the entire Panton family at this very sad time. Please know that you are all in our prayers.
The United Democratic Party registers its appreciation and gratitude to Herbie for his many years of dedicated commitment to the advancement of the principles and ideals of the party he loved dearly.
Rest In Perfect Peace Brother Herbie. We will all miss you dearly.
Re: UDP Stalwart Herbert Panton Passes Away
#555940 03/04/2205:38 AM03/04/2205:38 AM
The Albert Division Area Rep is mourning the loss of her husband, attorney Herbert Panton. As you heard yesterday, Panton was a former magistrate, senator, even Guardian Newspaper editor, and through it all he remained a stalwart supporter of the UDP - and one with a most memorable personality.
His friends and family described him as being vivacious with a zest for life. And that's exactly what his wife, Tracy Taeger Panton, said in her Facebook post earlier today. She wrote quote, "He was my ride or die. He was my one true love. He and I had big dreams together. He was the kindest, most loving human being I knew. He was pragmatic and he was honest to a fault." End quote.
She continued to talk about his love for his family and his command of the English Language, which no doubt helped in his law career. Taeger Panton also spoke about the way he supported her through her political career. She ends the post, quote, "My grief is palpable. The sense of loss I feel is indescribable. The pain is unimaginable." End quote.
Understandably, Panton has not indicated at this time where she stands regarding the upcoming UDP Leadership convention - which takes place in 24 days.
The memorial service for UDP Stalwart Hebert Panton was held this afternoon at the House of Culture.
Panton was the husband of UDP Albert Area Rep and candidate for party leader Tracy Taegar Panton. He died suddenly last Wednesday at the age of 50.
Panton was an attorney and former magistrate - but he was also a celebrated figure in the UDP, a bon-vivant, and the hardest of the die hards.
Today at his memorial he was remembered with humor:
Panton's wife, Tracy, has indicated to colleagues in her party that she still intends to run for party leader. No decision has been taken on whether the March 27th date for the convention will be pushed back.