NOTED neurosurgeon and former politician Dr Eugene Newry died on Sunday.
According to Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell yesterday, the writer, philosopher, diplomat and political activist in the early 1960s was responsible for engendering a more activist and aggressive posture for the Progressive Liberal Party following the defeat of the party in 1962.
It came at a time when the party’s leadership was passing to a new generation and while Dr Newry was a member of the National Committee for Positive Action.
“One of his fonder memories was engaging in a demonstration outside the Lyford Cay gates when then US President John Kennedy officially visited The Bahamas in 1962,” Mr Mitchell said in a statement yesterday. “He said Mr Kennedy sent word to ask what the demonstration was about and ended up having lunch with a group of the young PLPs, including Dr Newry.
“He trained in France as a neurosurgeon. He returned to The Bahamas and practised in the country’s public hospitals.
“Upon retirement, he assisted the leadership of then PLP leader Perry Christie in the return to political power. He served under Mr Christie as Ambassador to Haiti and Ambassador to Washington, DC. I had the honour of working with him on both occasions as Minister.”
Mr Mitchell remembered Dr Newry as an avid reader of history and an incisive commentator on the public affairs of the country up to his passing.
He said the PLP was deeply grateful for his life of service to the nation.
“On behalf of our leader and Prime Minister Philip Davis and Mrs Davis, Deputy Chester Cooper and Mrs Cooper, all Cabinet Ministers, Senators and MPs, our officers and members, we say rest in peace,” Mr Mitchell said. “Our condolences to his widow Françoise and his four children, in particular my colleague at the Foreign Ministry, Eugene Torchon Newry.