A press release issued by Dr. Douglas’ Press Secretary, indicated that PM Douglas – who currently serves as Chair of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) – will attend the “Funeral and Thanksgiving Service” which will be held on the afternoon of Friday, 21st January, 2010.
A PAM press release additionally informs that Eugene Hamilton, Parliamentarian and member of the People’s Action Movement, will lead a PAM delegation to attend Dr. Osborne’s 2:00 p.m. state funeral.
Osborne – who served in Montserrat for 35 years, including two stints as Chief Minister – departed this life on 2nd January, 2011 while at a hospital in the United States of America.
Dr. Osborne’s body was repatriated on Sunday, 16th January, and the funeral will be held at the Montserrat Cultural Centre. His body will lie in State from 8:00 am until noon with the official observance beginning at 2:00pm after the cortege makes it way from the government headquarters in Brades to the Montserrat Cultural Centre, Little Bay.
The Service will be presided over by the Anguilla-based Bishop of the North-Eastern Caribbean and Aruba, the Right Reverend Errol Brooks.
Also attending the Service are Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer of Antigua and Barbuda; Chief Minister of Anguilla, Hubert Hughes and former Chief Minister Mr. Osbourne Flemming; Barbados’ Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sen. Maxine McClean; British Virgin Islands Minister of Communications and Works, Julian Fraser; Acting Secretary General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Her Excellency Lolita Applewhaite; Her Excellency June Soomer of St. Lucia; and former Deputy Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sir Louis Straker and Lady Linda Straker.
The body of former Montserrat Chief Minister Osborne will be interred on Saturday morning following a private church and graveside funeral service at the St. Peter’s Anglican Church; interment in the St. Peters Parish Church Cemetery.
The MV Carib Queen arrived with the body of Montserrat’s longest serving leader of government, Dr. John A. Osborne last Sunday evening.
Accompanied by a 16-man contingent from the Antigua Defence Force (ADF), the body of the former chief minister arrived at 7:15pm at Little Bay as hundreds of residents watched. Family members, Chief Minister Reuben Meade and Governor Peter Waterworth were on hand to join the procession behind the Royal Montserrat Defence Force (RMDF) and the Royal Montserrat Police Force (RMPF).
The family chose to bring the body home by sea as Dr. Osborne was a boat builder and shipper and loved being on and near the ocean.
“It is very important that we honour and pay respect to those who have paved the way for the standard of living we enjoy today. This is especially important when we refer to leaders who worked hard for the respect that these smaller islands can now command within the wider CARICOM as well as further afield” Hamilton expressed concerning Dr. Osborne.