Former Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Most Hon. Edward Seaga, cried as he got his first chance to view the body of the late Lady Gladys Bustamante Friday (August 7) at the National Indoor Sports Centre in Kingston.
Asked why he cried, Mr. Seaga told JIS News, “You would, if you knew her for 50 years.”
Mr. Seaga, who had been away for over a week on business, returned home Friday just in time to visit the centre, where he spent several moving minutes viewing the body.
“I would never want to miss an occasion like this because of the relationship I have had with Lady Bustamante. I knew her for 50 years this year, longer than anybody in the hierarchy who is still alive, and I have special insights in this regard,” he told JIS News.
Honorary Distinguished Fellow at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona and Pro Chancellor of the University of Technology (UTech), the Most Hon., Edward Seaga, views the body of Lady Bustamante, widow of National Hero, the Rt. Excellent Sir Alexander Bustamante, at the National Indoor Sports Centre, in Kingston Friday (August 7). Lady Bustamante, who died on July 25 at the age of 97, will be accorded an official funeral on August 8. She will be buried beside her husband in National Heroes Park after the service.
Mr. Seaga held her forehead for minutes, as he studied her features for the last time. Tears welled in his eyes and he had to wipe them with his handkerchief.
“She was the right person, in the right place at the right time,” he described her relationship with her late husband the National Hero, the Rt. Excellent Sir Alexander Bustamante.
Mr. Seaga succeeded Sir Alexander as Leader of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) in 1974, and was also Prime Minister of Jamaica, 1980-1989 and Leader of the Opposition, 1989-2005 when he retired as leader of the JLP. He was appointed honorary distinguished fellow at professorial level at the University of the West Indies (UWI) following his retirement from politics in 2005.
He is scheduled to be among those paying tribute to Lady Bustamante at her official funeral at Sts. Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church, Liguanea, Kingston on Saturday (August 8).