Sir John set to be laid to rest following public farewell

CASTRIES, St. Lucia, September 18, 2007 – The Vincentian-born ‘Father of the Nation’ of St. Lucian, Sir John Compton, is set to be laid to rest today following three days of public farewell across the island.

Hundreds of nationals used the weekend and yesterday to bid final adieu to the late prime minister. Yesterday many wept as they passed by his closed casket inside St. Lucia’s parliament building

And on Sunday, hundreds showed up for a memorial service in Micoud, as the colors of the United Workers Party, yellow and black fluttered from cars and trees.

Sir John is set to be laid to rest at a private burial following a funeral that will be televised live across the island from the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.. Among those set to attend the funeral is Ambassador Albert R. Ramdin, the OAS Assistant Secretary General.

Today has been declared a day of national mourning and a national holiday in St. Lucia.

Sir John died on Friday September 7th at the age of 82, following a series of strokes beginning in May. He is survived by a wife and five children.

John George Melvin Compton led Saint Lucia to independence from Britain on February 22, 1979, having previously led the island to associated statehood. Chief Minister from 1964 to 1967, Premier from 1967 to 1979 and the first Prime Minister of the independent Saint Lucia, Compton again became Prime Minister from 1982 to 1996, before returning to the helm of government after last December’s elections. –