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Farewell, Sir Howard - Cabinet ministers view former GG's body ahead of today's state funeral

Published:Friday | August 8, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Members of the Cabinet and other officials view the body of former Governor General Sir Howard Cooke at The Mico University College yesterday. They include Ambassador Elinor Felix (front), followed by ministers A.J. Nicholson, Dr Omar Davies, Ronald Thwaites, and Attorney General Patrick Atkinson, as well as Dr Franklin Johnston, senior adviser in the Ministry of Education, and President of the Mico University College Professor Claude Packer. - Winston Sill/Freelance Photographer

 

SENIOR GOVERNMENT Minister Robert Pickersgill yesterday led members of the Portia Simpson Miller Cabinet as they viewed the body of the late former Governor General Sir Howard Cooke at The Mico University College in Kingston.

It is not clear why Simpson Miller, who was scheduled to lead her team of ministers to view the body, did not appear at the scheduled event.

Education Minister Ronald Thwaites said Sir Howard had distinguished himself by reliability and faithfulness.

Asked if the Government planned to further honour Sir Howard by naming another institution after him, Thwaites noted that his ministry would be constructing a new high school in Montego Bay.

"It would be wonderful if we could agree that it would be named in Sir Howard's honour," Thwaites said.

At present, the Howard Cooke Primary School in Montego Bay is named after the former governor general.

The International University of the Caribbean, where Sir Howard was the first chancellor, also named its Montego Bay campus for him.

President of The Mico University College Professor Claude Packer said any decision to bestow additional honour on Sir Howard, a graduate of Mico, would have to be made by the institution's board.

Packer noted that Mico had already recognised Sir Howard with its highest and most prestigious Gold Medal award for persons who contribute to humanity. The institution also awarded Sir Howard the Honorary Doctorate in Teaching and Leadership. Additionally, the main road through Mico is named Sir Howard Cooke Way.

"We recognised him tremendously in his lifetime," Packer said.

Sir Howard spent 15 years as Head of State from 1991 to 2006, and retired. He died on July 11, at the age of 98.

The state funeral for Sir Howard will take place today at The Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity at 1 George Headley Drive in Kingston, beginning at 10 a.m.