Charlestown, Nevis (June 19, 2007)
Nevisians lined the route from the Hunkins Funeral Home on Government Road to the Court House on Prince William Street in Charlestown on Tuesday June 19, 2007, to pay their last respects to the late Hon. Malcolm Guishard, as his casket, accompanied by a compliment of military personal, close family and friends was transported by hearse to lie in state.
The occasion, on the first of two official days of mourning in Nevis, cast a sombre mood in Charlestown and disrupted the early morning traffic, as commuters were forced to make way for the slow moving procession. At the time of his passing, the late Mr. Guishard was the sitting Leader of the Opposition in the Federal Parliament of St. Kitts and Nevis and had earlier served in Nevis as the Deputy Premier for 14 years.
The bereaved family and close friends led by widow Mrs. Yvonne Guishard and his mother Mrs Myrtle Guishard, were the first to view the body which was guarded by four military sentries, followed by Deputy Governor General His Honour Eustace John and Mrs. John led by Ms. Angelica Elliott and Superintendent of Police Mr. Joseph Liburd.
Members of the Nevis Island Administration led by Premier of Nevis the Hon Joseph Parry were next in line and they were followed by members of the Opposition in the Nevis Island Assembly.
By 10 am a number of persons had attended the viewing including a team of students from the Combermere Primary School while outside a crowd of curious onlookers filled the Memorial Square where a mini memorial stood adorned with flowers.
Moments later, it was the turn of other members of the public to file past the body as it lay in state. Mr. Guishard’s body was expected to lie in state till 4pm following which it would be returned to the Hunkins Funeral Home to await the State Funeral on Wednesday June 20, 2007.
The Governor General Sir Cuthbert Sebastian declared Wednesday June 20, 2007, a public holiday for a State Funeral late last week during a joint press briefing with Prime Minister the Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas and Premier Parry at the Bath Hotel.
According to a timeline of events for the funeral service issued by the Protocol Department in the Premiers Ministry on Tuesday, the funeral procession will depart the Hunkins Funeral Home for Grove Park at 7:30am where the body will lie in repose from 8am. A final viewing will be allowed for the public at 10am while the family’s turn will come from 10-10:15am. At 10:15-10:30am the military will drape the casket with the State Flag and the sentries will withdraw from their positions.
The religious service will commence at 10:30am and the body will be interred at the Charlestown Public Cemetery.