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Seaga Funeral: Seaga a champion for regional integration, says Grenada PM

Sunday, June 23, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Prime Minister of Grenada, Dr Keith Mitchell, in paying tribute, hailed late former Prime Minister of Jamaica Edward Seaga as “a Caribbean man and a champion for regional integration”.

Mitchell thanked Seaga for supporting the US-led invasion of Grenada in 1983, stating that the late former prime minister took a position when Grenada “needed friends”. He also hailed Seaga as a “thinker” saying he had the ability to transcend the geographical boundaries of Jamaica to see what was needed in the wider Caribbean.

Mitchell’s was the first of four tributes made at the Ecumenical Service of Thanksgiving for the life of Seaga, now underway at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Kingston.

In the second tribute, Former Jamaica Prime Minister PJ Patterson remembered Seaga as a “titanic warrior, who was never one to avoid making the difficult choices”.

Patterson said that Seaga’s “patriotic commitment was rock solid”.

“Edward Seaga was truly and always a man for all seasons, but he did it his way. As we lay his body to rest in everlasting peace, I boldly assert the name of Edward Phillip George Seaga will live on generation after generation. Let this assembly declare his wisdom and the congregation proclaim his eternal praise,” Patterson said.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Andrew Holness, in delivering the third tribute, said Seaga “never lost sight of the reason he entered politics, to help the ‘have nots’ to enter the rank of the ‘haves’”.

Hailing Seaga as a political godfather, Holness said Seaga was misunderstood, but explained that “he was a visionary, big thinker, yet he was a pragmatist. He was not a populist, he was not issuing political confectionary.”

Metry Seaga, who represented the family, described the former prime minster as a complex individual and a dichotomy.

“He was comfortable dining with kings and queens but just as comfortable eating a roast yam and salt-fish with a boil corn after a morning shoot on the road side. He was arguably Jamaica’s best minister of finance, but needed help to balance his own cheque book, notbecause he couldn’t, but because he cared less about himself, and some would say his family, than he did about the country and its people,” he said.

Today’s service comes after four days of official mourning, from June 19 to 22, for Seaga who was prime minister of Jamaica from 1980 to 1989.

His remains will be interred at the National Heroes' Park. The burial will be marked by a 19-gun salute, with salvos fired at one-minute intervals.


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