fbpx Remembering UWI Alumnus and Antiguan Icon Franklyn Lennox ‘King Frank I” Francis at tribute by Harold Lovell | Alumni Online Community

Remembering UWI Alumnus and Antiguan Icon Franklyn Lennox ‘King Frank I” Francis at tribute by Harold Lovell

Remembering UWI Alumnus and Antiguan Icon Franklyn Lennox ‘King Frank I” Francis at tribute by Harold Lovell

By Harold Lovell

The KING is dead. Long live the KING.

It was at the Antigua Grammar School that Franklyn Lennox Francis taught me West Indian history. He was the person who first brought to me a consciousness of self and to whom I am grateful for helping me to become the person that I am.

Then, in Jamaica a few years later, our paths crossed again, at the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies. He was doing post-graduate work in Development Economics and I was an undergraduate student. We both played the six bass in “UWISteel”, the campus-based steel orchestra. We shared many delightful events, tours, and trips around Jamaica playing side by side and jamming a wicked bassline.

Then one day in 1996, back in Antigua the King was walking down Factory Road when an exuberant officer from the Fire Station pounced on him, searched him, and locked him up at the St. John’s Police Station for possession of the holy sacrament. That incident sparked a new relationship, that of attorney and client, between the King and I.

We decided with the help of Lord Anthony Gifford QC to challenge the law by filing a constitutional motion under the Freedom of Religion section of the Constitution of Antigua and Barbuda. It was an interesting landmark case establishing for the first time in the Caribbean and in the world that Rastafari is a religion entitled to protection under the law. In fact, the case of Franklyn Francis vs the Attorney General cleared the way for reform in schools, in the prison, and the wider society.

King Frank, I was a deep thinker with a deep gravelly voice. He was an intellectual with a clear understanding of the global political economy who brought an uncompromising Rastafari perspective to the life we live. Though he lived in the system, he was not of the system. He rejected materialism and turned his back on the consumer society. Indeed, he was comfortable within the castle of his skin.

His Excellency Franklyn King Frank I Francis sincerely served the nation as an Ambassador without pomp or ceremony. He lived a simple, humble life in keeping with his faith. His interests were wide and varied including board games like bridge and he was revered as part of that fraternity. His love for and knowledge of sports was legendary, as a writer, commentator, and radio host he promoted sports as a way of life. We will always remember his unique and abiding admonition to us; Jah Guide, keep fit and be a good sport.

The KING is dead. Long live the KING.

Source of this tribute: https://antiguanewsroom.com/tribute-to-franklyn-lennox-king-frank-i-francis-by-harold-lovell/

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