Amidst warm sunshine, alternating with overcast conditions and a sprinkling of scattered showers, this island’s sixth Prime Minister, the Hon. David John Howard Thompson, was laid to rest on a cliffside yesterday in his hometown of St. John.
A traditional service of thanksgiving was held at the historic Kensington Oval and attended by new Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and members of Cabinet. A large contingent of international dignitaries and members of the diplomatic corps were also present.?? Prime Ministers from regional states, including CARICOM Chairman, Bruce Golding of Jamaica; Hubert Ingraham of the Bahamas; Dr. Denzil Douglas of St. Kitts and Nevis; Dr. Baldwin Spencer of Antigua and Barbuda; Kamla Persad Bissessar of Trinidad and Tobago; Tillman Thomas of Grenada and Dr. ??Bharrat Jagdeo of Guyana, all came to pay their final respects.
A gun carriage, bearing the body of the late Prime Minister, was escorted by a contingent of personnel from the Barbados Defence Force (BDF) and the Royal Barbados Police Force attired in ceremonial dress from Downes and Wilson Funeral Home.
After a period of silence was observed in his memory, choirs from his alma maters, St. Gabriel’s and Combermere schools, paid tribute with such songs as ???We Are The World’ and the school song; while local entertainers, Rickey Brathwaite played ???Ain’t No Sunshine’ on trumpet; Adrian Clarke sang ???Safe in the Arms of Jesus’ and Paula Hinds rendered ???He’ll Find A Way’.
Other touching moments were the video messages from his daughters, Misha, Oya and Osa-Marie, and nephew Dario; while he was eulogised by life-long friends Brian Clarke and Hartley Henry.
Mr. Henry told those present that "David Thompson knew where he wanted to take Barbados: A dream unfilled, a vision postponed. All he really wanted was a little more time.
"But what he did not get in tenure, he got in affection. Thus, he became a leader who was FIRST in the hearts of the citizens of Barbados. David Thompson: – Adulated by the youth, acknowledged by the aged, affirmed by Combermerians, acclaimed by Dems, adored by St. John, admired by all."
As the former Prime Minister’s casket was lowered to its final resting place in the St. John’s Parish Church Yard, overlooking the tranquil Caribbean Sea, BDF officers discharged a volley of gunfire into the air in his honour.
Officiating Ministers were Archbishop of the West Indies and Bishop of Barbados, the Most. Rev. Dr. the Hon. John Holder; Reverends Cuthbert Edwards, Monsignor Vincent Blackett, Dr. Carlyle Williams, Canon Dr. Geoffrey Mayers, Dr.Cicely Athill-Horsford, and Senator, the Rev. Dr. David Durant.
This brings to an end the official period of national mourning which commenced on October 23 when Mr. Thompson died at age 48. firstname.lastname@example.org