Mourners roar as gun salute excites

They waited for hours at the burial site – the National Heroes’ Park – to get a whiff of the aroma that would become synonymous with the send-off of their revered Edward Phillip George Seaga.

From the start of the State funeral for Jamaica’s fifth prime minister at the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity, at high noon, those who loved him till death do them part came well prepared for the antics that would inevitably follow.

Almost everything had a touch of green as mourners milled around awaiting the ceremonies. Limited vending was allowed at the location, but one sticking point for some was the number of barriers erected to prevent non-accredited people from getting near the graveside – located in a straight line across from the grave of Seaga’s close friend, Bishop Mallica “Kapo” Reynolds, who died on February 24, 1989, and a shade away from that of culture icon Louise Bennett-Coverley, or “Miss Lou” as she was better known, who departed on June 26, 2006.

On the opposite side was the shrine of the man Seaga succeeded as leader of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) in 1974, Hugh Lawson Shearer.

“Dem shouldn’t block off the place. The people dem shoulda able fi walk come in,” one said in reference to the restricted area.

“Mr Seaga woulda never like fi know say dem no allow the people fi get close to him, because him was a people person,” said another.

By time the two-hour-and-40-minute service was about to be wrapped up, more walked up to the barriers, despite knowing that the estimated time of the procession walking from the cathedral to the park was around 35 minutes.