Scores of family members, close relatives and friends turned out in their numbers last week Friday to pay their last respect to the island’s Fifth Prime Minister, Sir Nicholas Alexander Brathwaite at a Memorial Service held at the Blessed Sacrament Roman Catholic Church at Grand Anse, St. George’s, according to Anglican Rites.
Governor-General, Dame Cecile La Grenade and Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell file passed the casket that was draped with the national flag.
Sir Nicholas who was charged with the task of helping to restore democracy on the island in 1983 following the collapse of the 1979-1983 Grenada Revolution, died on October 28th at his home in The Villa, St. George’s following a brief illness.
The exemplary life of the 91-year old former Prime Minister was articulated by the Venerable Christian Glasgow of the Anglican Church who was the Celebrant at the Service.
Archdeacon Glasgow said that by all accounts, Sir Nicholas was guided by some specific principles in his life.
“He lived by them, and he sought, in more ways than one, to express an understanding of the control that God often has in his life (and) in his daily interactions with persons,” he said.
The Cleric told the congregation that a careful survey of persons who came to know Sir Nicholas, and to work with him… “you will hear them say he was a gentleman”.
However, he said being “a gentleman” does not mean Sir Nicholas was soft-spoken and said “yes, yes to every and any thing”.
“But being a gentleman is the fact that he lived by specific principles, he was directed by specific principles, and he lived by those principles,” he remarked.
Archdeacon Glasgow stressed that a close look at Sir Nicholas’ life will reveal that he carefully thought out things, and carefully and meticulously prepared for things.
“I feel that I can say… that Sir Nicholas carefully prepared for this eventuality,” he said.
The Archdeacon stated that when he queried why Sir Nicholas wanted to be buried at sea he was given a story of his near-death experience in the deep waters.
“In essence (the story) says that Sir Nicholas felt that he was called to be in the deep for ever and ever by the several personal experiences that he had in life.
“I am told that at one time he was given up for dead at sea. The wake was actually taking place when he walked home.
The Anglican cleric said Sir Nicholas will now have his final rest at sea as he believes that is where his final earthly remains are called to be.
The Celebrant believes that after Sir Nicholas stepped down as Prime Minister and entered his private life in peace and quiet in 1995, he would have had a chance to exercise his philosophical mind and review his own living.
“This, I feel certain was how Sir Nicholas spent the last years of his existence,” he said.’
“I was always impressed by the fact that when he withdrew from public life, that’s exactly what he did – he withdrew from public life and he spent quality time, to my mind, for this eventually,” he added.
The Head of the local Anglican Church did not loose sight of trying to comfort the grieving relatives.
He indicated that words cannot truly convey the sentiments the former Prime Minister intended to pass on, and neither can they fill the void that is left in the life of the bereaved at the passing of the loved one.
“And yet we say to you that as Christians do not mourn and grieve as people without hope,” he said.
Archdeacon Glasgow implored the family to take comfort and solace in the faith that Sir Nicholas had.
Sir Nicholas who was the second Prime Minister of Grenada to have been born on the sister isle of Carriacou was brought there on Monday for an ecumenical service.
His body was taken out to sea on Tuesday morning for burial in-keeping with his wishes.
Sir Nicholas had left behind specific instructions to family members that there should not be a State Funeral for him, and no eulogy or tributes at any of his two church services.