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Sir James Mitchell was mistaken


EDITOR: Government Minister Dr. Jerrol Thompson is puzzled by Sir James Mitchell’s claim that there was no government representation at Dame Eugenia Charles’ funeral in Dominica.

Dr. Thompson left the state after there were several public announcements in the media that he was going to officially represent the Government. {{more}}

At the presentation of the report on Poverty Alleviation at the Methodist Church Hall, the Prime Minister again explained Dr. Thompson’s absence. Dr. Thompson had to overnight in St. Lucia but left the very next morning accompanied by other officials of the St. Lucian Government. In Dominica he was greeted by a Dominican protocol team and was driven to the Cathedral in Roseau.

Dr. Thompson was seated in the fifth row, on the opposite side of the centre aisle to Sir. James Mitchell. Sir James was seated in the third row. The service was solemn and a fitting tribute to Dame Eugenia Charles whom it is well known had requested a modest sending off without a state funeral or government involvement.

Dr. Thompson had noticed that Sir James had had great difficulty keeping his eyes open but was at times visibly moved by the event. As the various family members and dignitaries were leaving, Sir James’ pew was escorted out prior to Dr. Thompson’s and as Sir James passed him – he was less than two feet away – he looked at Dr. Thompson momentarily. He was quite concerned about Sir James as the former Prime Minister walked with slightly bent knees and extended a handshake, however, Sir James was distracted by the media and gave an unusual grunt and turned away.

The Minister believes it was most unfortunate that Sir James did not recognize him and if he did recognize Dr. Thompson he refused to shake his hand. Dr. Thompson is unsure if there was something wrong or this was just plain mischief with an underlying political motivation leading to the claim that there was no government representative at the funeral. Minister Thompson considers it crude, cheap and pointless politics from someone who should be a statesman on these matters. In spite of the fact that this is the season for this type of conduct and behaviour, it is still unacceptable no matter if it comes from someone who has a knighthood.

Sir James should apologise.

Officer at Dr. Jerrol Thompson’s Office