Late Sir Emile’s casket in motorcade around island

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ANGUILLA–The casket of former Chief Minister Sir Emile Gumbs was driven around the entire island on Wednesday, May 23. Everywhere it was greeted by persons lining the streets and as it passed the schools the children waved flags and sang. The casket arrived at the Parliamentary Building at 11:00am and was taken into the Courthouse where he will lie in state in order for persons to visit until the time of the funeral tomorrow, Friday, May 25.

Following the National Anthem and National Song of Anguilla by the Albena Lake Hodge Comprehensive School choir and a reading and prayer, tributes were given by members and former members of the House.Chief Minister Victor Banks welcomed the family of Sir Emile including his wife Lady Gumbs, his children Laurie and Catherine and many other members. Also present were former chief ministers Hubert Hughes and Osborne Fleming. Banks recognised Sir Emile’s service to the island of Anguilla, describing him as a great statesmen known for his calmness, stability and quiet demeanour. He recalled that before becoming a politician Sir Emile had contributed to the island through his involvement in the salt industry that enabled people at the time to make a living. Leader of the Opposition Palmavon Webster spoke of him as a towering politician of the time – a genuine patriot, who shaped the island and set the tone for the public service.

All current elected members, former members and others gave tributes. Many spoke of his humility, his honesty and that he was committed to the overall development of the island. He was praised for his contribution to the tourism industry of Anguilla that started during his time. Some spoke of his strength of character, his compassion and concern for the people and his nobility and kindness. He was also praised for his ability to mix with all persons and listen to their concerns. Others spoke of his time as a sailor and the many stories he told and of his keen interest in boat racing and all that he contributed to that sport.

All speakers offered sincere condolences to the wife and family of Sir Emile.

Source The Daily Herald

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