Former prime minister Basdeo Panday. – File photo by Ayanna Kinsale
THE state funeral of former prime minister Basdeo Panday will take place at the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts (SAPA) in San Fernando on Tuesday.
Panday’s body will then be taken to the Shore of Peace Cremation Site (Mosquito Creek) in La Romaine for cremation under Hindu rites.
The public will be allowed to view Panday’s body on Friday at the Red House as well as on Monday at SAPA.
On Thursday, Foreign and Caricom Affairs Minister Dr Amery Browne gave the update after signing the condolence book at the Red House.
He said a planning meeting was held earlier in the day with the pundit of the Panday family, Panday’s daughter Mickela Panday, members of the Defence Force, and “key elements” from the ministry.
“Detailed planning is under way. There are some new elements here which will be guided by Hindu traditions and rites. That is a first in terms of a state funeral,” Browne said.
“A lot of work is going into this to ensure the degree of reverence, formalities, solemnity, as well as regard and respect for the wishes of the family and the Hindu traditions of service and cremation.”
Panday, fondly called the Silver Fox, died on January 1 at a hospital in Florida. The trade unionist, actor and lawyer, known for his wit, was 90.
Minister of Trade and Industry Paula Gopee-Scoon also signed the condolence book at the Red House on Thursday and offered condolences to the family.
“We mourn the loss of this great son of the soil. He will be remembered by me as being a brilliant mind. I have always found him to be a bright spark and quite an affable character who got along with everyone,” she said.