Since being chosen over the weekend to coordinate the state funeral of Prime Minister David Thompson, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Senator Maxine McClean has held a number of press briefings on the activities leading up to the funeral next Wednesday at the Kensington Oval.
Here're the details in a nutshell, courtesy of the Government Information Service:
The Minister explained that as a lead-up to the funeral, there would be the lying-in-state and the provision of condolence books for signing at a number of locations. Starting on Thursday, October 28, the body will lie-in-state upstairs in the East Wing of Parliament where, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., there will be private viewing by dignitaries in the order of the Table of Precedence, from the Governor General to current and former Members of Parliament.
From 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. that same day, as well as on Tuesday, November 2, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., members of the public may view the body upstairs the East Wing of Parliament.
The public will also have an opportunity to see Mr. Thompson on Friday, October 29, from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at his alma mater, Combermere; the following day, Saturday, October 30, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the George Street Auditorium; and at the St. John Parish Church on November 1, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Persons will be able to sign condolence books at the following locations: downstairs the East and West Wings of Parliament on October 28 from 1100 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; and from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on October 29 and 30, and November 1 and 2.
Condolence books will also be placed at Government Headquarters for public officers on October 29 and 30, and November 1 and 2 from 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day; at the George Street Auditorium, on October 29 and 30, and November 1 and 2 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day; at Combermere School on October 30 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; and at the Gall Hill Community Centre, St. John, on October 29 and 30, and November 1 and 2 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day.
And today she released that:
"With respect to the conduct of the service, a number of religious denominations will be represented. Dr. the Hon. John Holder will be the main celebrant. It is estimated that the duration of the service will be for one and a half hours and the service will be preceded by musical tributes beginning at 8:50 a.m. and this will be followed by the interment at the St. John’s Parish Church.”
Senator McClean indicated that many Barbadians were desirous of attending the funeral service, but stressed that admission to Kensington Oval would be by ticket only and persons would have to be seated by 8:30 a.m.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade mentioned that to facilitate persons attending the service the Transport Board would have a ‘Park and Ride’ system in operation. She indicated the sites would be the traditional locations: the National Cultural Foundation car park, the Barbados Tourism Investment Inc.’s Car park on Bay Street, the Wildey Gymnasium, Weymouth B and Queen’s College. The shuttle service begins at 6:00 a.m.
Next Wednesday is going to be a painful ordeal...