Jamaica News: Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, says preparations for the final resting place of former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Edward Seaga, are on track.
On Thursday (June 13), Mr. McKenzie and officers from the Kingston and St. Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC), visited National Heroes Park, where the nation’s national heroes, prime ministers, and many cultural icons are interred, to get a first-hand look at the work being done to prepare the burial site.
“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,” he said.
Mr. McKenzie said that 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”.
He 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. There, he said, Mr. Seaga planned and played a fundamental role in shaping Jamaica’s post-Independence parliamentary landscape.
Labourer, 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 said 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,” Mr. Daley said.
Mr. Seaga died on 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 also 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, the Right Excellent Sir William Alexander Bustamante (who served as Prime Minister from August 6, 1962 to February 23, 1967); the Most Hon. Sir Donald Sangster (who served from February 23 to April 11, 1967); the Most Hon.
Hugh Lawson Shearer (who served between April 11, 1967 and March 2, 1972); and the Most Hon. Michael Norman Manley (who served from March 2, 1972 to November 4, 1980 and February 13, 1989 to March 30, 1992).
Jamaica’s first Premier, Norman Washington Manley, is also interred at National Heroes Park.
Source: JIS News