Several members of the Brooklyn-based St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ex-Police Association, U.S.A., Inc. two Sundays ago posthumously honored executive member Anthony “Tony” Fitz-allan Husbands by conducting a motorcade in Brooklyn leading up to his Canarsie, Brooklyn home then showering his widow and children with gifts, flowers and plants, and offering condolences.
A significant number of Vincentian groups and nationals were also on hand, presenting gifts and offering condolences in front of the family home on Peardegat 7th Street.
They included the Brooklyn-based Council of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Organizations, U.S.A., Inc. (COSAGO), the umbrella Vincentian group in the US; the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Nurses Association of New York, Inc.; and the Biabou Methodist School Alumni.
“Brother Husbands was a fixture that cannot be replaced,” Pamella Ferrari-Easter, president of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ex-Police Association, U.S.A., Inc. told Caribbean Life after presenting to Husbands’ widow, Dr. Olga Husbands, president of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Nurses Association of New York, Inc., a huge plant and other gifts.
“He was a kind person, a team player; he always talked to us, telling us how we need to be better,” added Ferrari-Easter, who led the group’s March-Past in front of the family home.
“He was a very stern person, but he did not shy away from helping others,” she continued about Husbands, who served as her vice president. “He was a real player in our organization. There’s no person to replace him.”
Arden Tannis, a former president, now serving as a trustee of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ex-Police Association, U.S.A., Inc., also acknowledged Husbands’ roles in the organization.
“He was very instrumental in organizing events for our group,” said Tannis, who coordinated the motorcade. “He played a leading role. He’ll be missed.
“It’s really a trying time for the organization,” he added. “We lost three members in the span of a year – Husbands, Winy Peters and Ingrid Matthews.”
Beris Latham, a former police officer in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and member of the organizing group, lauded the motorcade and ceremony, stating that they were “wonderful.”
“It brought tears to my eyes,” said the former vice president. “He (Husbands) was my good friend. I wish the family all the best; my deepest condolences.”
Husbands, a Vincentian-born United Nations Police captain and erstwhile Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Officer in the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force, who served as president of the Brooklyn-based Vincentian group Biabou Methodist School Alumni, died on Jun. 2 from complications related to the coronavirus (COVID-19), his widow said. He was 60.
Dr. Husbands, a registered nurse, told Caribbean Life, in an exclusive interview, that her husband, who hailed from Cedars, a same village adjacent to Biabou on the eastern coast of mainland St. Vincent and the Grenadines, died at Lenox Hill Hospital, on 77th Street and Lexington Avenue in Manhattan, after being hospitalized for 55 days.
“He loved working at the United Nations and spent 33 glorious years,” she said. “He looked forward to retiring in the next three years, where he would live the rest of his life back home in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”
The United Nations said in a statement that its Security and Safety Service of the Department of Safety and Security and the UN community at large were “deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Capt. Anthony ‘Tony’ Husbands.”
“He was highly respected by his colleagues and all who knew him,” it said, stating that Husbands joined the United Nations on Sept.1 1987, rising to the rank of captain.
Before joining the United Nations, Husbands served seven years (1979-1986) with the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force.
He performed general police duties for the first year and was subsequently assigned to the CID for the remaining six years, the UN said.
It said Husbands completed several years of assignments in four different UN field missions: UNGCI in Iraq, UNAMSIL in Sierra Leone, UNMOT in Tajikistan, and UNMIK in Kosovo.
The UN said he served in a supervisory capacity in all the mission assignments, where he performed functions such as Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the Protective Detail for the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, security coordinator, operations officer, senior investigator and administration officer.
In his service at UN Headquarters in New York, the UN said Husbands was assigned to the Special Services Unit, where he also served as the Personal Protection Officer for the President of the 58th General Assembly from 2003 to 2004.
Dr. Husbands said her husband was “a philanthropist at heart, always giving back to his community.
“If anything was needed, he was there in a heartbeat,” she said, stating that Husbands also served as president of the Biabou Methodist School (BMS) Alumni from 2015 until his death.
She said her husband had “great dreams of making greater change” while in BMS and the police group “but was cut short on June 2, 2020.”
Dr. Husbands said she was overwhelmed by the motorcade and ceremony on Sunday.
“It’s overwhelming, it’s really overwhelming!” she told Caribbean Life. “The march by the ex-police and honoring him (Husbands) are really wonderful. He was loved, he was appreciated. He really put himself out there.”
Besides his wife, Husbands is survived by four children – Tashema, Anthony, Jr., Chanelle and Chandelle; six grandchildren; mother Elma Husband; several brothers and sisters, including Lynette Prince, Susan Husband, Bertin “Bronco” Husbands and Sylvester Husbands; and daughter-in-law.
Husbands’ funeral service was held on Friday, Jun. 19 at Celestial Funeral Home, on Flatbush Avenue and Clarendon Road, in Brooklyn.
He was interred immediately afterwards at the Cypress Hills Cemetery at the border of Brooklyn and Queens.