February 2021 Volume 17

Everton M. Barrett (EB) - A True Friend And Neighbour

Winston Stewart
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EB was both my immediate neighbour and longstanding Fortis friend. We moved from Atlanta to Bradenton, FL together with our families in 2017 with the intention of enjoying the twilight of our years in this salubrious setting. However, his dream was cut short by his passing on 8th January 2021, and concurrently triggered an unexpected nightmare for his surviving family and ourselves.

For many, they see a physically imposing person, but for those of us who knew EB we first see his big heart, manifested in his genuine care for the wellbeing of others. His noted benevolence, particularly towards our shared alma mater Kingston College, defined the man himself. Assisting Kingston College was a natural course of action by EB, and this was even more pronounced during his tenure as president of the Georgia Chapter of the Kingston College Old Boys’ Association.

In his earlier years, EB was a firebrand crusader of justice for black people who invariably were society’s underprivileged and marginalized. He was willing to stand-up and fight in their defense, physically or through principled non-violent resistance. He challenged the excesses of corporate arrogance and the excesses of racial intolerance, even if it meant jeopardizing his own employment within corporate America. A review of his memoire “Black Man Rising”, penned about 1-year ago, provides numerous examples of the challenges and obstacles he faced in the corporate world. These eventually became the catalysts that drove him to start his own business enterprises, including as a private consultant to the CDC in Atlanta.

The relatively short time in Bradenton may have curtailed his retirement goals of “enjoying the fruits of my labour”. However, what it did for me and my wife Calys, was reinforced by the fact that having a genuine and unpretentious friend as a neighbour is priceless.

We will miss EB; his kindness, infectious laughter and his Reggae/Rocksteady oldies interspersed with Calypso sounds blurting out from his pool deck speakers will be precious memories that we will carry.

Walk good EB.

Fortis Always!

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