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July 2004

Sir George F.L. Charles: The Funeral Arrangements

The funeral arrangements of Sir George Frederick LawrenceCharles will make a historic first, when his body is brought to the steps of the Castries Market for viewing by the public, at 9:15 a.m. on Tuesday, July 6, 2004.

The viewing there is a symbolic gesture of his struggles for the common man, and the aura of the Castries Market steps as a landmark venue for political meetings by the St. Lucia Labour Party, of which Sir George was the founding father.


The body will be taken away from the market steps at 9:45 a.m. to reach Parliament at 10:00 a.m., at which point the State takes over from the family, the responsibility for the body, under State Funeral protocol. The body will be available for public viewing at Parliament from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

On Wednesday, July 7, at 9:00 a.m., the body of Sir George will be exposed in the Parliament Chamber, to be viewed officially at 9:30 a.m. by Governor General, Dame Pearlette Louisy. This will be followed by the visit of Prime Minister, Dr. Kenny D. Anthony and his Cabinet, and at 10:30 a.m., by the Diplomatic Community. Members of the public will have their last opportunity to view the body between 10.30 a.m. and 12:30 a.m.


The Cortege leaves Parliament at 1:00 p.m. The procession travels to the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception via Laborie Street, Jeremie Street, Peynier Street, and Micoud Street. The parade by the Royal St. Lucia Police Force and other contingents will take place on Laborie Street. The funeral service is to commence at 2:00 p.m.

After the church service at 5:15 p.m., a select cortege, comprising the hearse, a vehicle containing representatives of the family, one with SLP representatives, one with representatives of the labour movement, and another with representatives of the St. Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority (SLASPA) will proceed to the George F.L. Charles Airport in Vigie, to reach there at 5:30 p.m. At that time, near the burst of Sir George, a one minute silence will be observed nationwide, including all radio stations, in memory of his death. A Police bugler will sound the end of the One Minute Silence.


At 5:35 p.m., the select cortege will arrive at the Choc Cemetary, where the body will go through a Guard of Honour, before the commencement of Last Rites to be followed by laying of Wreaths.


The funeral, including Parliament, church service, and the procession will be carried live on the government’s National Television Network (NTN), and other TV and radio stations, particularly, Radio St. Lucia (RSL). The one minute silence and the ceremony at the burial site will be recorded, packaged and aired later.