BREAKING NEWS: Gov’t engineer Walter Willis dies
By Leroy Smith
Government Engineer Walter Willis moments ago passed away at the St. Joseph Mercy Hospital.
Contacted by the News Room, Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson said the loss of Willis is indeed a shock to him and the entire ministry given the fact that he was at work on Friday last.
Minister Patterson related that he received a telephone call over the weekend from Willis’ wife informing that he took ill, but no one expected that he would have passed away.
The minister said the Ministry has lost a long-serving and faithful employee and it will be doing all that it possibly can to comfort the family.
Willis has been employed by the state for decades and would have contributed to many national projects, providing technical and engineering expertise to various government ministers. Upon his commencement of service on May 3, 1999, Mr. Willis served as the Technical Adviser for Minister of Transport and Hydraulics, Anthony Xavier, under the Ministry of Public Works and Communication. Mr. Willis also served as Technical Adviser to Minister Harry Narine Nawbatt and Minister Robeson Benn before working alongside Minister Patterson from May 2015.
Mr. Willis was born on July 23, 1949 and was employed with the ministry for 17 years.
Outside his position as Technical Adviser, Mr. Willis held several positions, including that of the Chairman of the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority; Project Manager of the Solid Waste Management Programme; and Project Engineer for the Caribbean Development Bank Third Road Project (Ruimveldt to Providence). Mr. Willis was also involved in a number of key developmental projects, including the construction of the Providence Stadium, where he served as the Project Manager.
A statement from the Ministry said “Mr. Willis will be remembered by all as a dedicated worker who went above and beyond to ensure the proper execution of all projects under his remit. He was always willing to offer advice and worked meticulously. He was also fondly known to all as a stickler for protocol and could be seen traversing even the hallways of the Ministry with a safety vest on.”
Up to last Friday, Mr. Willis led a team on a site visit to the Cheddi Jagan International Airport Expansion Project.
He left to mourn, his wife, Dolly; three children, Christopher, Sonia, and Sandra; and three grandchildren.
Ministers of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson and Annette Ferguson, along with the staff of the Ministry, wish to extend their heartfelt condolences to the Willis family.