Sir Frank Milton Blackman, a leading light of the Barbados Public Service passed away on Thursday, April 19, 2023, which interestingly is a day which is set aside for the Cabinet of Barbados to meet to conduct the Government’s business.
Sir Frank Blackman was the consummate Public Officer and the first Cabinet Secretary in the post- colonial Barbados serving for twenty years from 1966 to 1986. During the last five years of his illustrious career as Cabinet Secretary he was also Head of the Civil Service and later became Ombudsman for Barbados between 1987 and 1993.
His long and distinguished career as a Civil Servant did not go unnoticed. As a result, he was conferred with a number of national honours for his selfless and meritorious service to his profession and to his country. He was highly respected in his line of work which resulted in him being awarded an unprecedented two Knighthoods by Queen Elizabeth II and the then Governor General for his sterling contribution to the development of the Barbados Civil Service.
Although Sir Frank had long left public life, his achievements were permanently etched in the annals of history and in our memories. We cannot help but remember this renowned son of the soil who served his country so well and who embodied the true values of a patriot. He was the consummate Public Officer: professional, knowledgeable, committed to excellence, circumspect, highly confidential and diplomatic. His signature phrase ‘leave it to me’ bespoke his quiet confidence, great skill and immense competence.
Many of us Barbadians will fondly remember Sir Frank Blackman for his outstanding service, his unassuming and dignified character and his trail-blazing work which serve as glowing examples for Public Officers to emulate. We are grateful for his legacy of commitment and dedication.
To Lady Blackman and other family members, I extend heartfelt condolences on behalf of the Government and people of Barbados. May you find strength and comfort in the fact that Sir Frank’s life was one of purpose, dedication to the country and stellar achievement. I know we will long be inspired by the life and work of this exceptional Barbadian.
May he rest in peace.