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SALISES Cave Hill Pays Tribute to the Late William Eric Armstrong

For Release Upon Receipt - Tuesday, September 25, 2018

The following is a tribute by Dr. Don Marshall, Director of SALISES, on the passing of the late noted Barbadian economist, William Eric Armstrong:

Mr. William Eric Armstrong, a Barbadian known affectionately as ‘Eric’, was an Economist who first joined the University of the West Indies as a Research Fellow in the Institute of Social and Economic Studies (ISER) Mona Campus in 1962. He had obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia University in 1953 and a Postgraduate Diploma in Economic Planning and National Accounting from the Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, Holland.

Mr. Armstrong’s first stint with ISER, Mona was for a brief period as he soon took up the post of Temporary Assistant Secretary in the Barbados Civil Service in 1963, before quickly thereafter settling for the position of Lecturer in Economics in the College of Arts and Science at the Cave Hill Campus. After serving for two years, Mr. Armstrong left for the post of Statistician with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. He returned to ISER, Cave Hill Campus again in November 1967, taking up the position of Deputy Director and Research Fellow. Sir Alister McIntyre, the then Director of ISER, reposed confidence in Mr. Armstrong to pilot research into the fiscal policy of the Leeward Islands, and it was in this assignment his contribution to knowledge and policy came to be known. In 1970, Sir Arthur Lewis invited Eric Armstrong to join the Caribbean Development Bank as a Senior Economist. His sterling public service extended to his role as a Chair of the Board of Management of the newly created Barbados Community College, along with his role as Secretary and Assistant to Lady Ursula Hicks, assisting in her preparation of the `Fiscal Report of Eastern Caribbean Territories’.

Professor Sir Woodville Marshall, a close friend and colleague of Eric Armstrong, recalled his generosity of spirit and open home invitations to staff and colleagues. Indeed Sir Roy Augier and Sir Alister McIntyre would often stay at his home in Pleasant View and on weekends his home was “an alternate Senior Common Room”. The founding Administrative Assistant of ISER Cave Hill, Mrs. Denise Thompson, spoke of his easy going manner and remembered his daily habit of asking her for an update and distillation of the headline news. He was also a very close friend of Sir Keith Hunte.


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