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Mandela style State funeral for Robinson

Thursday, April 10 2014

click on pic to zoom in
FROM ME TO YOUSouth African President Nelson Mandela receives a gift from President Arthur NR Robinson atthe Royal St Lucian Hotel during a Caricom Su...
FROM ME TO YOUSouth African President Nelson Mandela receives a gift from President Arthur NR Robinson atthe Royal St Lucian Hotel during a Caricom Su...

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday said the arrangements made for former South African President Nelson Mandela’s funeral last year may be considered when planning the State funeral of former President and Prime Minister, Arthur Napoleon Raymond (ANR) Robinson.

“I went to the funeral of Nelson Mandela, what had happened there, the national part of the funeral took place in the capital and thereafter the internment took place in his village, so we may want to consider that model but I will not pronounce until we have that meeting,” Persad- Bissessar said.

The Prime Minister disclosed this to reporters outside of Robinson’s home in Ellerslie Park, Maraval, where she had paid a visit to his family.

Persad-Bissessar will be meeting with a team to work out the logistics for the State funeral. She also admitted there were challenges as Robinson expressed a wish to be buried in Tobago.

In December last year, a memorial service was held for Mandela at the FNB Stadium in the Johannesburg, South Africa township of Soweto and then a funeral service was held in his village in Qunu. The date for the State funeral for Robinson also has to be worked out as the committee would also have to consider the upcoming jazz festival in Tobago from April 19 to 27.

Commenting on Robinson lying in state, Persad-Bissessar said this also had to be worked out as Government was considering having it in Trinidad as well as Tobago.

“We would have to talk with the Parliamentary staff to see whether we can accommodate the lying in State at the Parliament. Those are logistics we have to work out. I would also want to consider in Tobago to have a lying in State, we would have to talk with the people in Tobago,” she said.

Persad-Bissessar met with Robinson’s family for about an hour and in that time she listened to stories shared by his granddaughter Anushka and his daughter, Ann Margaret.

“The family is very saddened and in grief but at the same time they were filled of stories. Anushka for example was giving us so many stories of Robinson interacting with her during her years of growing up. Ann Margaret was describing the last days, the last moments, the last hours. I think they are bearing very well. They understand and appreciate the great love that Robinson had for them,” she said.

Persad-Bissessar assured the Robinson family that Government will give every support they can to make the family comfortable as they carry on their every day life.

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