(DNO)The Government of Dominica has announced its intention to honour the late Alix Boyd-Knights, former Speaker of the House of Assembly, with an official funeral. The Dominican attorney, women’s and children’s rights advocate, who served as Speaker from 2000 to 2020 then being named Speaker Emeritus, passed away at her residence on Tuesday, August 29, 2023.
Speaking at a news conference this morning, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit stated that during her extensive tenure as Speaker of the House of Assembly, which remains the longest in Dominica’s history, Boyd-Knights approached her responsibilities with “passion and dedication.”
“She was firm, no-nonsense, and insisted on upholding strict parliamentary procedures and the rules of the house,” he stated.
Skerrit added that her leadership style, both as the House’s chair and as the head of the parliamentary Women’s Association, exemplified the strength and resilience women bring to leadership positions.
The prime minister further revealed that Boyd-Knights devoted a significant portion of her life to championing women’s rights and safeguarding the welfare of children in society. She collaborated with the government for years, advocating for the enhancement of laws concerning domestic violence, child maintenance, and children’s rights.
“And I daresay she was very successful in this endeavour,” he remarked. “And I’m happy that we’re able to bring five family protection laws to the Parliament during her lifetime in April 2023.”
In his capacity as Prime Minister, Skerrit expressed his deep personal and professional admiration for Boyd-Knights. He lauded her counsel and support, highlighting her role as a valued colleague and advisor not only to him but also to the Dominica Labour Party (DLP).
“I treasured her sound advice on political matters. And I’m thankful for her support of me and my colleagues over many years. I extend most heartfelt condolences to her family, her children, and her grandson senator, Phillip Rolle, who now serves as Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly,” the head of government conveyed.
“As a former Speaker of the House of Assembly, she will be accorded a state funeral and I am departing from the norm,” he added. “Because of the high regard and her contribution to the country for over 20 years as Speaker of the House of Assembly.”
According to the prime minister, the government of Dominica will provide further details on these arrangements at a subsequent date.