JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The mood was solemn inside the Montego Bay Cultural Centre on Friday (June 7) as hundreds of mourners from western Jamaican turned out to bid farewell to former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Edward Seaga.
  • Health Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton; Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Homer Davis;Attorney General, Hon. Marlene Malahoo Forte; and Custos of St. James, Bishop Conrad Pitkin, were  among those gathered at the centre, where Mr. Seaga's body was lying-in-state.
  • The casket, swathed in the black, gold and green of the national flag, arrived at the venue at about 8:30 a.m.under Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) guard.

The mood was solemn inside the Montego Bay Cultural Centre on Friday (June 7) as hundreds of mourners from western Jamaican turned out to bid farewell to former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Edward Seaga.

Health Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton; Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Homer Davis;Attorney General, Hon. Marlene Malahoo Forte; and Custos of St. James, Bishop Conrad Pitkin, were  among those gathered at the centre, where Mr. Seaga’s body was lying-in-state.

The casket, swathed in the black, gold and green of the national flag, arrived at the venue at about 8:30 a.m.under Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) guard.

Mourners were already waiting to pay their respects to the man whom many affectionately called “Papa Eddie”.

Several had brought with them pictures and other mementos from Mr. Seaga’s time as Prime Minister.

Dr. Tuftontold JIS Newsthat Mr. Seaga was a “great Jamaican, who did a lot for the people and built many institutions”.

“He was a visionary; he dreamt big dreams, showed commitment, and had a very steely determination. He was passionate about what he believed in and, at all times, his beliefs were in the interest of developing the country and making the Jamaican people better off,” said Dr. Tufton.

“We are very sad to see him go, but we celebrate his life,” he added.

Mayor Davisnoted that Mr. Seaga was instrumental in the reclaiming of the Montego Bay waterfront. He said that the Montego Free Zone was also the brainchild of Mr. Seaga.

The Mayor outlined that Mr. Seaga’s mark on Montego Bay is “indelible”, as he pioneered a great deal of infrastructure development in the city.

“It will be hard for anyone to surpass his achievements. It’s a bittersweet moment for most of us here. He has done exceedingly well for this country,” said Mr. Davis.

Ninety-three-year-old St. James resident, Melita Daley, told JIS News that “I love him because he came here and built Jamaica”.

“He is a beautiful man.May God rest his soul in peace. I thank him for what he has done for Jamaica,” she said.

Mr. Seaga’s body was later transported to the St. John’s Anglican Church in Ocho Rios, St Ann, where it will lie-in-state from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The funeral service will be held on Sunday, June 23, at the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity in Kingston.

Mr. Seaga died on his 89th birthday on May 28 in a hospital in Florida.