JIS News

The official funeral service for the late Louise Bennett-Coverley, affectionately called ‘Miss Lou’, will take place next Wednesday, August 9 at the Coke Methodist Church at East Parade, downtown Kingston. It will begin at 2:00 p.m.
Interment will follow at National Heroes Park in a section reserved for cultural icons.
Information and Development Minister, Senator Colin Campbell, told journalists at yesterday’s (July 31) post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House, that the service is expected to run for two hours and 15 minutes, and will entail tributes by Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller and Opposition Leader, Bruce Golding, with the eulogy to be delivered by Professor Rex Nettleford.
Meanwhile, Miss Lou’s body will lie in state at the National Arena on Monday, August 7 and Tuesday, August 8. On the final day of the lying in state, an act of celebration and thanksgiving will be held, which will be highlighted by tributes and performances by a number of Jamaican groups. Prior to the official ceremonies in Jamaica to honour Miss Lou, a memorial service will be held in Toronto, Canada on August 3, where the folklorist lived for more than a decade.
A Jamaican delegation, headed by Minister of Housing, Transport, Water and Works, Robert Pickersgill, and including Minister of State for Tourism, Entertainment and Culture, Dr. Wykeham McNeil and Opposition spokesperson on Culture, Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, will attend the service overseas.
Minister Pickersgill will remain in Toronto in order to accompany Miss Lou’s body as well as the remains of her husband, Eric Coverley, back to Jamaica on August 5.
The flight from Canada, the Information Minister said, will arrive in the island at about 4:20 p.m., and “it will be met on arrival by the Minister of Tourism, Entertainment and Culture, Aloun Ndombet Assamba as well as representatives of various cultural groupings and organisations in Jamaica”.
In keeping with Miss Lou’s wishes to be buried next to her husband, Mr. Coverely will be re-interred at National Heroes Park. While a date has not been finalised for the re-interment, Minister Campbell said it would be done before Miss Lou’s burial.
Miss Lou passed away on July 26 at the Scarborough Grace Hospital in Toronto, Canada after collapsing at home early in the morning. She was 86 years old.
Born in Kingston on September 7, 1919, Miss Lou is Jamaica’s premier folklorist, poet, entertainer and comedienne. As a cultural giant, she made Jamaica’s patois an accepted language through her poems.
She last visited the island in 2003, where she was special guest of the government for Emancipation and Independence celebrations.

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