Derek Walcott laid to rest

Derek Walcott laid to rest

The funeral service took place near the street where the poet and playwright was raised as a boy.

The funeral of Sir Derek Alton Walcott KCSL, OBE, OCC, was held on Saturday, March 25, at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Castries.

Sir Derek passed away on March 17 at his home in Cap Estate, Saint Lucia. He was 87 years old.

The funeral service which took place in close proximity to the street where the poet and playwright was raised as a boy, drew professors, writers, the media, government officials and dignitaries from across the globe.

Professor Emeritus, Edward Alston Cecil Baugh, was a close friend of the 1992 Nobel Laureate. The Jamaican poet and scholar is recognized as an authority on the work of Derek Walcott. He edited Sir Derek’s book of Selected Poems in 2007.

Professor Baugh delivered the eulogy.

“We mourn and we celebrate a genius who was a prodigy, a maker. A Caribbean man who has made us and the world see more clearly the Caribbean landscape, Caribbean light. But we also mourn and celebrate a person. Someone with the virtues and the shortcomings that defined him, as the persons who knew him valued. I remember him as unassuming, never one to blow his own trumpet not one given to talking shop but famous if not notorious for his corny jokes. When I read his poem “The Muse of History at Rampanalgas”, I asked him if he knew the community of Rampanalgas, a remote place on the north-eastern coast of Trinidad. He said that he didn’t but then quipped that a guy called Rampanal once had a gas station there.

“He was a generous man, considerate of others, always willing to promote talent where he spotted it. He was a kind and considerate father, and in his daughters’ words, a doting absolutely besotted grandfather.”

For those touched by the genius of the literary titan, Professor Baugh wished him a fond farewell.

“On behalf of the Governor General of Saint Lucia, Dame Pearlette Louisy, the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, Allen M. Chastanet and the government of Saint Lucia. On behalf of his loved ones, Sigrid, his bright spirited unwavering partner of 30 years, his son Peter, Lizzy and Anna his two dear daughters, to use a phrase from one of his poems, his grandchildren, his nephew Nigel. On behalf of his friends, Saint Mary’s college, on behalf of the people of Saint Lucia, on behalf of the West Indies and the world, we say to the boy from Chaussee Road, Sir Derek Alton Walcott. May that effervescent but transcendent light shine on you and may you rest in the radiant moment that is the season of phantasmal peace.”

Prior to the funeral, the body of Sir Derek Walcott lay in state in Parliament. He was laid to rest at Morne Fortune near the Inniskilling Monument, within proximity to fellow Nobel Laureate, Sir Arthur Lewis.

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17 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    March 27, 2017 at 9:05 am Reply

    RIP Sir.

  2. Anonymous
    March 27, 2017 at 9:38 am Reply

    I am in two minds to write this about Sir Walcott farewell. I ask myself should i let him rest for a few weeks into his new home? The answer I came up with was no !!
    Nothing surprise me with this inept UWP Administration. This is an administration that found $500,000.00 for a swearing in ceremony in VFORT. Yet this administration was not ready to spend half the amount to bus school children from around the Island to attend this son of the soil (GREAT CARIBBEAN MAN) finial celebrations.
    I know there are some of you that will ask the question, why is politics in every thing we do or say? The answer is simple, yes! politics is part of each and every one of us life.
    Fortunately for me, I got the answer in Sir Walcott writings.
    This administration also found the answers in Sir Walcott writings and therefore was not prepared to give him the 100% send off. One of the answers goes like this, “A NEW SLAVERY WITHOUT CHAINS” and the second one goes like this, “PROFIT WITHOUT GUILT”.
    Allen this is why DSH must be stopped, Sir Walcott has given us the warning, as a people we must protect our culture.
    Allen like Sir Walcott said in his second paragraph in OMEROS, “AND HE FIRE A WHITE RUM”….
    Well Allen I will fire one to ensure I stop you and your administration with this mad DSH project.

  3. sharon terrell
    March 27, 2017 at 9:39 am Reply

    RIP Legend.

  4. Anonymous
    March 27, 2017 at 10:10 am Reply

    In my opinion, tha Pm spent that $500.,000.00 as a form of early campaining for the next election. Sad to say, the next ecection in not due yet but he has already lost. There is no reason wht he couldn’t finance at least one bus per district so that the schools could be represented. Greedy man dat

    1. Anonymous
      March 27, 2017 at 10:24 am Reply

      Typical Labour that’s what you are

  5. Anonymous
    March 27, 2017 at 10:22 am Reply

    The final service for Comrade Derek Walcott was televised world wide and only for the outside world to see an empty church. Where is the pride ? Where is the planning ?

  6. Anonymous
    March 27, 2017 at 10:34 am Reply

    Typical Labour

    1. Anonymous
      March 27, 2017 at 10:56 am Reply

      And is that a sin to be labour ?? The constitution of St.Lucia give me the permission to be party of and legal grouping!! Truth has been told and now you want to decide what group i must be part of…..

      The labour I know which started in 1951 has always been a grouping or party of the working class, men/women of wisdom, educated, integrity and love. I am proud to associate myself with such pedigree.

      1. Jah i
        March 28, 2017 at 12:51 am Reply

        You Wil fire one go ahead fire what u have to fire you killer blood is on your shoulders boy

  7. Anonymous
    March 27, 2017 at 11:13 am Reply

    RIP great one

  8. Anonymous
    March 27, 2017 at 11:15 am Reply

    Sir Derek is gone but will be miss ,may his soul rest in Peace. May god comfort his Love’s one in their mourning.

  9. Anonymous
    March 27, 2017 at 11:34 am Reply

    Why as a parent if so wanted ur kids to attend came together like $5 each ? Why does gov have to be blamed so lamely?nd for the dreamer who have seen next gn elections bravo look beyoned ur nose

  10. Anonymous
    March 27, 2017 at 12:54 pm Reply

    To the first commentor if he/she can fine to say that the government spent what he/she count as 500.000 dollars for swearing ceremony in view fort and don’t give schools transportation to go to Derrick Walcott funeral why not he/she who loved Derrick Walcott so much didn’t pay transportation for the schools. Sucoo lang say pa sucoo posh .stop complaining.. Jack Ass.the money was not yours .

    1. Anonymous
      March 27, 2017 at 6:02 pm Reply

      The money Sir Walcott brings to St.Lucia is much more that what was spent at the VFort event. This is why I say to Lucians go out into the world and forget about people like you. Sir Walcott has done more than you and Allen can ever do for St.Lucia and by extension the Caribbean. The money was part of my taxes (citizens taxes) and thank you for calling me a Jack Ass. I dear not to go too your level but one day you will educate yourself .

      1. Jah i
        March 28, 2017 at 12:58 am Reply

        11 to 6

  11. Anonymous
    March 27, 2017 at 1:08 pm Reply

    Excuse me; wat did he do with his money; did he give it to the children of St Lucia or did it give some thing back to the poor ; O please the man is dead bury him and finish c with that; his burial is his family and close friends ; he was enjoying his life with not the public ;

  12. Anonymous
    March 29, 2017 at 9:07 pm Reply

    Since that day these families are in St. Lucia, now you want them to leave? And go where? You were not even born yet when these people were contributing to the development of the island, yet you want to deny them what is due to them. Do you know or remember anything about the ice factory on Bridge Street? Who owned it and created employment? Why am I taking you on anyway? Suddenly, I feel like a big fool!

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