JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Residents of Denham Town in West Kingston shared fond memories of the former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Edward Seaga, today (June 11), at the Lying-in-State of his body at the community centre.
  • Mr. Seaga, who also served as Member of Parliament for West Kingston from 1962 to 2005, died on May 28. He was 89 years old.
  • Long before the arrival of the casket, scores of persons, including school children, lined each side of the road leading to the centre, waving the Jamaican flag.

Residents of Denham Town in West Kingston shared fond memories of the former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Edward Seaga, today (June 11), at the Lying-in-State of his body at the community centre.

Mr. Seaga, who also served as Member of Parliament for West Kingston from 1962 to 2005, died on May 28. He was 89 years old.

Long before the arrival of the casket, scores of persons, including school children, lined each side of the road leading to the centre, waving the Jamaican flag.

President of the Denham Town Benevolent Society, Pauline Perez, said Mr. Seaga spearheaded the building of the centre, and formed the Community Development Committee (CDC) to bring needed development to the area.

“Mr. Seaga loved community development, and he loved children,” Miss Perez told JIS News, adding that she was one of “Mr. Seaga’s campaign girls”.

President of the Hannah Town Benevolent Society, Nicholas Campbell, said Mr. Seaga was “very involved in the community”, and sought to teach the residents the “power of coming together”.

“He was very passionate, and had this sense of belief that it is at the community level where you need to solve the issues affecting the society,” he said, adding that he went into “shock” on hearing the news that his beloved former MP had passed.

Mr. Campbell pointed out that children and the elderly were dear to Mr. Seaga’s heart.

Youth leader in the area and member of the clergy, Shamar Miller, shared that the communities of West Kingston bear lasting memories of the late MP’s work with the people.

“I felt like a son being around Mr. Seaga, as you felt his fatherly love. He was a very distinguished man,” Mr. Miller told JIS News.

Assistant Secretary for the constituency, Annette Irving, said she first met Mr. Seaga many years ago during a Christmas treat for children, and as she stood outside the venue, unable to enter due to the crowd, “he held me by the hand and pulled me in, and gave me a big dolly”.

“I had that doll until I had my children. I love Mr. Seaga from the heart. He was one of us, and he chose to make a difference for us,” Mrs. Irving said.

Principal of the Charles Chin Loy Early Childhood Institution, Veronica Sewell Morgan, said that Mr. Seaga ensured that young people in the area got skills.

Ms. Sewell Morgan said the first thing that he did as MP was to establish a training centre. “He did change a lot of lives, because most of us used to live in tenement yards, where you had to use one bathroom. Mr. Seaga was the one who took us from there,” she said.

Mr. Seaga was the fifth Prime Minister of Jamaica, serving from November 1980 to February 1989.

The State funeral for Mr. Seaga will be held on Sunday, June 23 at the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity, after which he will be buried in National Heroes Park.

During the official period of mourning (June 19 to 22), the National Flag will be flown at half-mast on all public buildings.