Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Desmond McKenzie, said preparations for the final resting place of former Prime Minister Edward Seaga are on track.
He, along with officers from the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation, visited the burial site at the National Heroes Park yesterday, June 13, to get a first-hand look at the work being done.
The park is where the nation’s national heroes, prime ministers, and many cultural icons are interred.
“We should have the vault being completed [soon], and the other works associated with getting the area ready for the funeral are also well advanced,” McKenzie said.
He continued: “[Mr Seaga] will be buried in the section that is adjacent to the burial of our national heroes… It’s an area that represents a wide cross section of Jamaicans whether at the political or the cultural level. It is a very good area and I know, knowing Mr Seaga, it is an area that he would really appreciate.”
McKenzie also noted that the location of the grave is directly across from the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, where Mr Seaga held office as portfolio minister in 1974.
Mark Daley, who is responsible for laying the blocks and supervising the pouring of concrete for the grave, said he feels honoured to be able to pay his respects to the late former prime minister in this way.
He further stated that he met Mr Seaga several years ago in West Kingston, where the former prime minister served as member of parliament from 1962 until his retirement in 2005.
“I feel great to be creating the grave for a great man as Mr Seaga. It’s a joy. To me, he is a great man. He did great things for Jamaica, especially the markets in downtown,” Daley added.
Mr Seaga died on his birthday, May 28, in a hospital in the United States where he was receiving treatment. He was 89 years old.
A State funeral will be held on June 23 at the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity, downtown Kingston.
Mr Seaga served as Jamaica’s fifth prime minister from 1980 to 1989, and was a member of the first Parliament of independent Jamaica.
He was one of the founding fathers who framed the Jamaican Constitution in 1961. He initiated a rewrite of the Human Rights section of the Constitution to provide for a Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms, and created the office of public defender.
Mr Seaga will be buried beside former Prime Ministers Alexander Bustamante, Sir Donald Sangster, Hugh Lawson Shearer, and Michael Manley. Jamaica’s first Premier, Norman Washington Manley, is also interred at National Heroes Park.
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