Reginald Chase, a grassroots champion of the Progressive Labour Party from its early days, has died at the age of 88.
Deeply committed to the Seventh-day Adventist Church and well known across the West End, Mr Chase was among the “founding 50” honoured by the PLP at its 50th anniversary in 2013.
According to a church statement, Mr Chase was dedicated to community service — delivering produce from his garden to the homes of seniors, and helping provide hampers to the needy.
Retired PLP parliamentarian Walter Lister, first elected as MP for Sandys North in 1976, recalled Mr Chase as “a committed, very active worker on the ground” after the party formed.
Mr Lister said: “I knew him for his political stance during my very early days in the party in the Sixties and early Seventies.
“He was very active on the ground helping the branch develop and helping to get people elected.
“Fortunately enough, he lived to see his efforts bear fruit with the election of the PLP not once, but twice.”
Mr Lister called him “very much a labour man — a quiet man who was very, very focused”.
“You never saw his name in the paper, but without him, we would not be where we are.”
While he held key posts at his church on Beacon Hill, Mr Chase preferred to work for the PLP without seeking executive positions.
A mason and house painter as well as a keen fisherman, Mr Chase often provided fish for party fundraisers.
He kept a boat at Ely’s Harbour and “loved to go out on the water for a day of fishing — he was one of the successful ones”, Mr Lister said.
A celebration of his life will be held today at 2pm, at the Seventh-day Adventist Church on Beacon Hill.