From as early as 10 a.m. Friday (August 7), after members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) placed the casket with the mortal remains of Lady Bustamante inside the National Indoor Sports Centre, members of the public started to arrive to pay their final respects and to honour her memory.
Prime Minister Bruce Golding was on hand as the body arrived at the Sports Centre, and he personally oversaw the final preparations for the viewing.
Mrs. Mitsy Seaga spent several minutes in the Sports Centre, which was gently draped with lilac and white interspersed with the colours of the Jamaican flag. She recalled the humane side of Lady Bustamante, and noted that one of the bits of advice that she gave to her was, “never to let the sun go down on your anger.”
She said that Lady Bustamante was a genuine role model who had supported the work of the “Chief”, her late husband and National Hero, former Prime Minister and Founder of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union (BITU), the Rt. Excellent Sir Alexander Bustamante.
“We’ve come to the end of an era. She will be greatly missed,” Mrs. Seaga, the former wife of former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Edward Seaga, sadly reflected during the interlude.
Prime Minister Golding oversees the arrival of the mortal remains of Lady Bustamante this morning at the National Indoor Centre where members of the public were given their last opportunity to pay their respects to her.
A member of the public, Kenneth Freemantle noted that he saw Lady Bustamante as a nation builder, and that this was a rare opportunity for him to honour a founding “parent” of the country.
“This is my way to pay respect,” he said as he scribbled in the condolence book, “Thanks for all you have done for Jamaica.”
Pauline McFarlane noted in her message, “A well-lived life. It was worth knowing you.” Another message simply said, “Love you Aunt G.” One man asked that Lady Bustamante send his best regards to Sir Alexander.
Lady Bustamante will be laid to rest Saturday(August 8) at National Heroes Park, following an official funeral service which will commence at 1:00 p.m. at the Sts. Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church, Old Hope Road, Kingston. Saturday has also been declared a National Day of Mourning in honour of Lady Bustamante.