Vincentian United Nations police captain dies from COVID-19

Anthony 'Tony Husbands at the United Nations.
Pamella Ferrari-Easter, president of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Association, U.S.

Anthony “Tony” Fitz-allan 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 and vice president of the Brooklyn-based St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ex-Police Association, U.S.A., Inc., died on Jun. 2 from complications related to the coronavirus (COVID-19), his wife, Dr. Olga Husbands, said. He was 60.

Dr. Husbands, a registered nurse, told Caribbean Life, in an exclusive interview, on Sunday 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.

“St. Vincent and the Grenadines was always in his heart,” she added. “He made frequent trips home, never missing a carnival. He was the unofficial ambassador for SVG (St. Vincent and the Grenadines) – evident by his videos of St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ beauty, his expression of love for his country, and his open invitation to many friends to ‘come and see why I love sweet SVG.'”

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 are “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, who resided in Brooklyn with his family, served seven years (1979-1986) with the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force.

“Capt. Husbands completed an associate’s degree in architecture at New York City Technical College in 1989, and never missed an opportunity to enhance his skills by participating in courses that directly heightened his professional competence,” the UN said. “His ability as a security manager was only equaled by his contribution as an investigator and VIP (Very Important Person) Close Protection Operator.

“He always believed that, through continuous learning, hard work, loyalty and initiative, every security officer can make a noteworthy contribution to the Security and Safety Service and the organization as a whole,” it added. “Tony Husbands made an indelible mark and will be sincerely missed.”

Pamella Ferrari-Easter, president of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ex-Police Association, U.S.A. Inc., a former corporal in the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force, said the police group has lost “one of the humblest human beings I had the honor and pleasure to have known and worked with.”

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 (BMC) Alumni from 2015 until his death.

“He was able to lead fundraising efforts and gave back to the school children of BMS,” Dr. Husbands added. “He also was able to obtain computers from the United Nations, which were donated to Biabou Methodist School, Simon Primary School and Adelphi Secondary School (all in St. Vincent and the Grenadines).”

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.”

Husbands was born in Cedars on May 18, 1960 to Elma Pricilla Husbands and Clovis Derick.

He was the second of five children, who lived in a small house in Cedars, Dr. Husbands said.

“Growing up, the family instilled love, morals and, above all, great Christian values,” she said. “Those values were further instilled at the Biabou Methodist school, where he received his primary education.”

Dr. Husbands said her husband later attended the Adelphi Secondary School and finally the St. Martin’s Secondary School in the Vincentian capital, Kingstown.

After graduating from St. Martin’s, she said he attended the Regional Police Training Center in Christ Church, Barbados, in 1979, after which he served six years in the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force.

On migrating to the United States in 1985, Dr. Husbands said her husband worked as a security guard before joining the United Nations.

She said they met in 1987 after attending a carnival party in Brooklyn, where her brother, Walter Porter, a Vincentian calypsonian, had performed.

Dr. Husbands said she and Tony got married in 1988 and had their first child, while juggling family and careers.

“His love for his family was evident,” she said. “He ensured that his children were taken care of and always encouraged them to reach for higher heights.

Besides his wife, Husbands is survived by four children – Tashema, Anthony, Jr., Chanelle and Chandelle; daughter-in-law Shauntae; six grandchildren and several brothers and sisters.

Dr. Husbands said her husband was “a man of love, loyalty, honor and support.”

“Sleep on my love until we meet again in paradise,” she said, stating that that funeral arrangements are yet to be finalized.

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