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Tuesday, June 25, 2019 5:56 PM- George's, Grenada
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Sisters and brothers, I feel a profound sense of loss as we gather here today for the funeral of the late Edward Seaga, a personal friend, a friend of the New National Party and a friend of Grenada.

His birthright and parentage may have labelled him Jamaican but for many of us elsewhere in the region, Eddie was a Caribbean man, a champion of the regional integration movement and one who advocated for changes to improve the process that unites us.

Sisters and brothers, my presence here today is not only as a regional Head of State saying farewell to our dearly departed brother, I stand here as a Grenadian, who is grateful for the bold and decisive actions of the late Edward Seaga in 1983, when my country was reeling from the effects of a political crisis.


In that historical period, Eddie demonstrated what it was to be your brother’s keeper, and as I stand here today to bid farewell to this courageous brother, I also say a final thank you to my friend. Thank you for the courage you displayed in supporting the United States led intervention of Grenada in 1983.

There may not have been unanimous support for that course of action but I stand here today, convinced that you were acting in Grenada’s best interest, and for that, we thank you.

My fellow Grenadian politician, Dr. Francis Alexis shares my sentiments. According to him, and I quote, “The late Edward Seaga took a position at a time when Grenada needed friends. Whatever the perspective one shares about what was happening in Grenada in October 1983, it was a challenging time in the country’s history.

Edward Seaga had the courage of conviction to take a stand when Grenada was bleeding literally and figuratively. It is difficult to visualise what might have happened has he not taken that stand. We should feel a great sense of debt and gratitude to him, for giving Grenada the opportunity to start all over again,” unquote.

Back in 1984, Dr. Alexis was the leader of the Grenada Democratic Movement which later merged with two political parties to become the New National Party. As a member of the GDM then, I recall Eddie being very instrumental in the process, and it is by no coincidence that the NNP, like the JLP, uses the colour, green.

This symbolises the brotherhood we shared and continue to share with the JLP to this day. 

When parliamentary democracy was restored in Grenada, Eddie was one of the regional leaders who visited Grenada for the opening of parliament. That closeness between Grenada and Jamaica continued for much of the 1980’s and into the 1990’s.

How many of you know that Grenada is even referred to by some as Little Jamaica - such is the bond that we share.

Another Grenadian who engaged closely with Eddie during that period was Winston Whyte who was invited during the 1980’s to address a meeting of the JLP. Winston too believes that Eddie was, and I quote, “a true West Indian Stalwart”, unquote.

 

Personally, one of my fondest memories of Eddie was from 1984. Entering the political arena then, I looked to leaders like him who had more experience on the political stage. I was not to be disappointed and to this day, I remain grateful for the words of advice he shared and continued to share over the years.

Edward Seaga was regarded as a thinker, who gave deep consideration to political and social issues that not only affected Jamaica, but the wider Caribbean.

Party politics aside, he had the ability to transcend the geographic boundaries of Jamaica and see what was needed in the wider Caribbean. He was an advocate of social justice and he was fearless in his defence of positions that he believed in.

Let us ensure that his legacy lives on. When new and emerging leaders seek guidance in the annals of history, they will no doubt reap valuable lessons from the life and times of Edward Seaga.

Eddie, in this my final parting, I say once again how grateful I am for your astute leadership and advice shared and I pray that God grants you eternal peace. Farewell my brother!

 


 

 

 

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