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Mass funeral service to be held for deceased children


One mass funeral service will be held in Fancy for the five children who perished last Monday.

This disclosure was made at the ‘third night’ observance for the deceased, held on Wednesday evening at the Fancy Government School.{{more}}

The date tentatively set for the funeral is Sunday, January 25.

The ‘third night’ event was attended by a large number of people including Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves and Member of Parliament for North Windward Montgomery Daniel.

The five children will also be the first to be buried in a new cemetery at Fancy, the existing one being full.

Prime Minister Gonsalves told SEARCHLIGHT that a one-acre plot of Government land, which will be Gazetted and consecrated in time for the funeral, has been identified as the location for the new cemetery.

He said the funeral will be held on the hard court in the village, where tents and chairs will be set up to accommodate as many as possible of the thousands of people who are expected to descend on St Vincent’s northernmost village for the funeral.

The Prime Minister also disclosed that the New Haven Funeral Home has volunteered its services to the bury the five children free of charge. He however said that the State will also make a contribution so that the funeral home does not have to carry the full burden.

The five children who have been confirmed dead are Racquel Ashton, Jamalie Edwards, Jamal Edwards, Glenroy Michael and Anique Alexander. Two other children, Simonique Ballantyne and Chanstacia Stay, were, up to press time, still missing.

The ‘third night’ gathering is a memorial held three nights after someone has died. Usually, friends and family come together at the home of the deceased. They share their condolences and memories while singing hymns and eating food together. Other similar gatherings are held on the ninth and fortieth nights after the death.