Monday, April 15, 2024

Tickets key to funeral

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MORE?than 10 000 people are expected to pack Kensington Oval for next week’s  state funeral of departed Prime Minister David Thompson.
  Yesterday, Foreign Affairs Minister Maxine McClean, who is in charge of the November 3 funeral arrangements, said that to stay within the guidelines of the Oval’s11 000 seat capacity of the Oval, admission and seating will be by ticket only.
  “There is a maximum capacity at Kensington Oval and we expect we will have that maximum. All persons, all, will not be able to enter Kensington Oval or St. John’s Parish Church without the necessary authorisation,” said McClean, who noted that the funeral service will be broadcast live on television and radio.
  There will be no seating on the grounds of the Oval for the general public. That area has been reserved for family and specially invited guests.
  McClean told a press briefing at Government headquarters on Bay Street that tickets will be available shortly and the Barbados Government Information Service will publicise the venues where the tickets can be obtained.
   Members of Parliament (MPs) will be provided with tickets to distribute to their constituents.
  “Tickets will be on a first come, first serve basis,” she said.
    McClean that there will be heavy representation of regional and extra regional dignitaries for Wednesday’s service and burial with CARICOM chairman, Bruce Golding of Jamaica, slated to be in attendance.
   Noting that Thompson, will be provided with the type of farewell “befitting his prominence and exemplary contribution to this country,” McClean said that a number of religious denominations will be represented with Archbishop of the West Indies and Bishop of Barbados, Reverend, Dr. John Holder,  the main celebrant.
  The service will span one and half hours and everyone should be seated by 8:30 a.m. Musical tributes will start at 8:50 a.m.
 The funeral procession will leave Downes &?Wilson funeral home at 8:25 a.m. and will head past Eagle Hall market to President Kennedy Drive en route to the Oval.
 The Transport Board will facilitate a park and ride for Barbadians at the car parks of the National Cultural Foundation (NCF), Queen’s College, Wildey Gymnasium, Barbados Tourism Investment (BTI) on Bay Street, along with Weymouth B.
 McClean said the park and rides will be available from as early as 6 a.m.
 The Minister added that there will be restricted attendance for the burial at St. John Parish Church with family and visiting officials, getting priority. The interment process will last half-hour.
  There are five days for viewing of the late Prime Minister, with Barbadians getting their first look this morning.
 Governor-General Sir Clifford Husbands, will have the first view at Parliament at 9:30 a.m. followed by members of Cabinet and other dignitaries. Viewing for the public will start at 11:30.
 Viewing will take place at Combermere School on Friday, at Democratic Labour Party (DLP)?headquarters on George Street on Saturday,  St. John’s Parish Church on Monday and in Parliament once more on Tuesday.
Barbadians will be able to sign condolence books from this morning on the east and west wings of Parliament from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
 Books will remain there Friday, Saturday, Monday and Tuesday as well as at Government headquarters (public officers), Combermere, DLP?headquarters on George Street and at the St. John Post Office and Parish Church.
McClean added that there will be a full rehearsal on Sunday morning.

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