The voices of past students, belting out the words of their alma mater – Grenada Boys Secondary School (GBSS) reverberated the walls of St Peter’s R.C Church last week Thursday as hundreds turned out to pay their final tributes to Grenada’s longest serving Governor General, Sir Paul Scoon, GCMG, GCVO, OBE.
Te Ex-GG who served his country with distinction and enjoyed the highest of respect was laid to rest in his hometown in Gouyave, St John, after tributes were aid to him by close family members and friends.
The small St Peter’s R.C Church was filled to capacity as Grenadians from all aspects of life gathered to pay respect to Sir Paul who gained international recognition in the wake of the October 25,1983 military intervention by U.S and Caribbean troops to end a blood bath in which Marxist Prime Minister, Maurice Bishop was killed.
Apart for his leadership role in Grenada, Sir Paul’s role as an educator and a stickler for doing things properly also featured prominently during the funeral’s tributes.
Close family member, Dr. Edward Cox characterized Sir Paul as a man who lived by example and fully committed to life-long learning.
He recalled Sir Paul’s decision to become Grenada’s Governor General, which he made in the interest of the nation.
Dr. Cox believes that Sir Paul “has fulfilled his task on earth”.
Nephew of the deceased, Michael Church, a former senior government minister under the National Democratic Congress (NDC), shared some of his personal encounters with his uncle, all of which left indelible examples to be emulated.
Church said that Sir Paul “is the best example of self service”.
Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell recognised Sir Paul for his lifetime of service to the nation.
“We celebrate the legacy of a statesman in every way”, he said.
Governor General, Dame Cecile La Grenade, echoed similar sentiments, that Sir Paul was a courageous and honourable man who served Grenada with distinction.
Sir Paul succumbed to a period of illness at his home in a village in St Paul’s, St George known as “Africa”.
Born on July 4, 1935, in the fishing Mecca of Gouyave, Sir Paul, the son of a butcher served his country from as GG October 4, 1978 to 1992.
He was educated at the St John’s Anglican School and at the Grenada Boy’s Secondary School.
He studied as an external student of London University acquiring a Bachelor of Arts degree and later attended the Institute of Education at Leeds University. He also holds a Master of Education degree from the University of Toronto.
Sir Paul taught at the GBSS before serving as Chief Education Officer and later as Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office before being appointed Cabinet Secretary, the top post in the Grenada Civil Service.
In 1973, he was seconded to the post of Deputy Director of the Commonwealth Foundation in London, which he relinquished in 1978 to become Grenada’s Governor General.