Headline — 16 April 2014 — by Adele Ramos
“Mahogany Man,” Bert Tucker succumbs to prostate cancer in Jamaica

Arrangements being made to fly his body back home for burial after the holidays

Adalbert “Bert” Tucker, Belize’s Ambassador for Foreign Trade in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, famously known for his activism for the community-based project, the Belize River Valley Development Program (BELRIV), passed away last Thursday in Jamaica after his battle with prostate cancer—one of the leading cancers among Belizean men and the ailment which recently claimed the life of another well-known Belizean, attorney Lionel Welch.

Belize’s Honorary Consul in Jamaica, Elecif Arthurs, told Amandala this morning that Tucker will be buried in Belize and they are in the process of registering his death and preparing the body for burial within the next two weeks. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, she said, will make a formal announcement.

Tucker had recently traveled to Jamaica to seek treatment for his condition, but his condition was reportedly too far advanced.

Tucker is a former United Nations Advisor to several countries in the Caribbean and Africa. He is a graduate of the University of the West Indies and Harvard.

When he was appointed as Foreign Trade Ambassador in 2008, National Assembly Clerk Eddie Webster said that Tucker brought to the table a unique mixture of national and international experience.

“He has worked at the UN for the advancement and development of the human race, the rights of women and children. He worked in a number of the trouble spots across the world, especially in Africa and in the Caribbean.

“In Belize, he was the founding member of the Isaiah Morter organization. He pioneered the development of the BELRIV ‘OASIS,’ and for me, that is where we actually met”, Webster said.

Webster went on to note that, “Internationally, [Tucker] acted as consultant in the western and southern African countries like Liberia and Zimbabwe. Since 2001, he has been an adviser/consultant for the Mandela Center and he is a visiting lecturer for a number of universities in the world and, in particular, again, in the United States, in Africa as well as the Caribbean.”

Tucker was the leading advocate for the work of Henry C. Fairweather, the “Mahogany Man,” in his mission to reclaim Belize’s mahogany legacy by the replanting of trees in the BELRIV area.

Tucker himself also became known as the “Mahogany Man.”

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