Phillip Timothy
Phillip Timothy

On May 29, 1979, there was a huge protest in Roseau against the government of Prime Minister Patrick John.

Under a hail of stones from the protesters, members of the defence force fired blanks, then they resorted to live bullets. People scampered and shortly afterwards the situation was brought under control.

When the smoke cleared one man, 23-year old port worker Phillip Timothy was dead and nine others injured. It was a day that changed Dominica's political landscape forever.

Paul Karam who at that time was a member of the Dominica Defense Force was "off" that day and had gone to his father's garage on Cork Street to do some work. He recalled seeing hundreds of people marching down Bath Road led by Eugenia Charles and Charles Savarin.

"They were chanting a song as they marched down…the crowd was huge and then I saw stones being pelted. I then saw smoke in the air and smelt tear-gas…saw people running in all directions," he recounted. Louisa Timothy, sister of the late Phillip Timothy, said she recalled her brother leaving home that day to go down the road to meet his friends. A few hours later someone came with the sad news that her brother was killed.

"Mummy was home and when that news came it was shocking. We then had to go to Morne Bruce to tell dad who was at work and this immediately elevated his pressure and sugar," she said, her memory bringing tears to her eyes.

"This brother was just a darling; he was just sweet; he would have the last penny in his pocket and you asked him for it and he will give it to you. It was and still is a painful experience for us; he was number two in the family of five," Louisa said.

She continued, "Every 29th May we think of this dreadful and sad events which killed our brother and think who was the officer who shot him and why I miss him. I was very close to him...We are yet to have closure. It is just sad."

As she tried to further recount the dreadful events and fighting to hold back her tears she was interrupted but a brief telephone call which slightly helped her.

"Its 41 years and the government has not even tried to speak to us about the events of May 29th, 1979 which claimed the life of my brother. When Eugenia Charles government was in office she would always come to see us but since the Labour Party became the government we have not seen or heard from no government person," Timothy said.

Three years after her brother's murder her mother died before she could reconcile the death of her son, Phillip Timothy.

"Mom died 39 years ago, with no answers, that killed her," she said.

"I dream of him all the time. His picture is my guard and stays on my bed head as my strength and inspiration…we loved him and he is dearly missed," she said.