Basseterre, St. Kitts (April 10, 2017) — Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr the Hon Timothy Harris, on Monday morning April 10 joined the St. Kitts and Nevis Governor General Sir Tapley Seaton, GCMG, CVO, QC, JP, at the Government House to pay final tribute to the late former Governor General HE Sir Cuthbert Montraville Sebastian as his body lay in state.
Present in the Federation, as it mourned the passing of the longest serving Governor General of the Federation, were three Governors General from the OECS, HE Sir Rodney Williams, KGN, GCMG, of Antigua and Barbuda; Her Excellency Dame Pearlette Louisy, GCSL, GCMG, of St. Lucia; and HE Sir Frederick Ballantyene GCMG, of St Vincent and the Grenadines.
“His (HE Sir Cuthbert Montraville Sebastian) life of service is clearly one which we would want all of us present and in the future to emulate,” said Prime Minister Harris. “His was a life of work by industry, by dedication, and commitment and he lived his life to the fullest.”
According to Dr Harris, the late Governor General (who served in that capacity from 1996 to 2013) is a man who young people in particular would do well to emulate, having served the people in many areas of life and doing so exceptionally well as a teacher, a medical doctor, in the military, as a politician, then in the later part of his life in the public service as the Governor General.
While Sir Cuthbert served, he revolutionised the office of the Governor General and improved upon the accessibility of Government House and the Governor General to the people of St. Kitts and Nevis.
“He set clearly a historic level of engagement for the office of the Governor General,” observed Prime Minister Harris. “His presence was felt at almost every event from the sports days, to speech days, awards and presentations, the traditional ceremonial activities on independence day, at the celebration of our war heroes, everywhere.”
Prime Minister Harris told how in the early 20th Century Government House was not accessible for more than about 250 person for any event, but on taking over Sir Cuthbert Sebastian would have hosted at Independence Day celebrations thousands of persons on the compound of Government House.
“Here was a man for all seasons, for all people of St. Kitts and Nevis and by the way in which he revolutionised the office of the GG he ensured that the people St. Kitts and Nevis felt a sense of attachment and understood that the office was there to serve them and to serve them well,” noted Prime Mister Harris.
He added: “I want therefore to commend the family (of Sir Cuthbert) who would have given time and support; that they would have allowed him to be available as he was so wholesomely in service to the people of St. Kitts and Nevis. His contribution certainly has been invaluable in terms of his impact on St. Kitts and Nevis and the people of St. Kitts and Nevis, may his soul rest in eternal peace.”
The remains of HE Sir Cuthbert Sebastian who was 95 years old when he died on March 25, 2017 were to be laid to rest in the afternoon of Monday April 10 at the Springfield Cemetery with full military honours following a State Funeral Service at the St. George’s Anglican Church in Basseterre.