Tributes and condolences took centre stage ahead of discussions at Tuesday’s sitting of the House of Assembly (HOA), as representatives from both sides reflected on the passing of the late Emmett Caines, while offering support to his wife, Junior Minister for Tourism Honourable Alvera Maduro Caines.

Premier Dr. the Honourable Natalio Wheatley said he spoke for the entire government of the Virgin Islands as he expressed condolences to the Sixth District Representative and the rest of the Caines family.

“On behalf of the whole government of the Virgin Islands, I want to extend to our colleague, our friend, Honourable Alvera Maduro Caines, and the family of the late Emmet Caines, my sincere condolences. Certainly, our colleague is hurting right now because she has lost her life partner and certainly words cannot express the sadness and the grief that she would be going through right now, but we pray that God wraps his comforting and healing arms around her and her family at this difficult time,” he said.

The premier also urged members of the public to send their thoughts, prayers and condolences to the family in a respectful manner and to allow them the due time to grieve this loss.

Sharing similar sentiments, Opposition Leader Honourable Julian Fraser reflected on understanding the process of grief, as it is one of the most uncertain and painful experiences that is shared between human beings.

Fraser told the HOA, “We don’t have a blueprint for dealing with matters like this, because if we do it will be simple and the pain will be less. This is a road that all of us at some point in our lives have to travel. Had you known, or if anyone is to know what the future holds, they would deal with the present a whole lot different”.

Caines was a generous and kind person

Junior Minister for Trade and Economic Development Shereen Flax Charles sent deep condolences to the Caines family and described the Late Emmett Caines as a generous man and a genuinely kind person.

“We are going to miss him a lot… Honourable Maduro Caines, know we are here to support you every way we can,” she stated.

Also speaking on the need to support Maduro Caines at this difficult time was Representative for the Ninth District, Honourable Vincent Wheatley, who worried that Maduro Caines will find it difficult to navigate the days ahead without her greatest supporter.

“What I remember about Emmet was his great support for Honourable Caines. I don’t know how she will manage without that tower of support that he represented in her life. She believed in him and he believed in her. I spoke to her briefly yesterday and I could tell you it’s rough. It’s a real-life change for her and her family at this time and we should all keep them in our prayers,” he said.

Long-time friend of Caines, Territorial at Large Representative Honourable Carvin Malone said that despite the terrible grief that this death has brought to the territory, he is choosing to remember the deceased for his great contributions to the Virgin Islands and his long decades of dedication which began at a tender age.

Malone said, “he will be remembered for the contributions he made here since he hailed here from the age of 16 or 17. So many moons, he turned 65 not long ago. Builders of the Virgin Islands, Builders of Legacy. My friend will always be remembered and cherished by these persons who can offer public sentiments and those who will cry secretly and remember all that he’s done for them.”