Police officers fold the national flag at the burial ground
Police officers fold the national flag at the burial ground

Former President of Dominica Dr. Nicholas Joseph Orville Liverpool was buried in his hometown of Grand Bay on June 19, 2015. The funeral service was held on Friday at the Grand Bay Catholic Church.

Prior to the funeral service the lying in state took place on Thursday, June 18, 2015 at the State House Conference Room. The family of the deceased, His Excellency the President Charles Savarin and his wife, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, members of Cabinet, members of Parliament, Government officials and members of the Diplomatic Corps all attended to pay their last respects.

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has described Dr Liverpool as an extraordinary human being.

"On a number of occasions we learnt a lot from him the quality and skills which he possessed," said Skerrit.

The Prime Minister added that he was pleased that the Government of Dominica had recognized Dr. Liverpool's contributions while he was alive by naming the road from Roseau to the Douglas-Charles airport in his honour.

"Those who drive on the road especially the young people will be reminded of his contribution," Skerrit said.

After viewing the body of her friend, Parliamentary Representative for the Grand Bay Constituency Justina Charles said she will forever remember the times they spent together in the garden.

"We spent time together in agriculture just cleaning a garden and sharing jokes and the frequency in which he visited our home he was a very good friend, we spent time laughing and cooking and sharing the food that we loved. We know he liked black pudding and his drink of choice, so we would share that together so it is sad for me really to go out there and look at him," said an emotional Justina Charles.

Best legal mind in the Caribbean, colleagues say

Additionally, to honour the memory of Dr Liverpool the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court held a special meeting at the House of Assembly where the judges paid tribute to Dr Liverpool, a former Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of the West Indies and a judge in a number of Caribbean countries.

At the special meeting Justice of Appeal Davidson Baptiste said Dr Liverpool was a truly a great Dominican and an outstanding Caribbean citizen.

"Dominica is weaker on his passing," Judge Baptiste said. "An intellectual giant is gone. Is it possible to fill the void? His giant footsteps will echo through the corridors of time. A true Colossus."

Justin Simon, a former Attorney General of Antigua and Barbuda said: "The good that he has been will certainly not be interred with his bones."

Hundreds came to say goodbye

Before the burial, members of the Dominica Police Force carried the body through the village of Grand Bay onwards to the Grand Bay Roman Catholic Church where the body was viewed at 2:00 pm following the commencement of the service at 3:00 pm and the interment at the Grand Bay Cemetery.

Hundreds of dignitaries, among them St. Lucia's Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony, family and friends as well as villagers of Grand Bay witnessed the funeral ceremony.

Bishop of Roseau Gabriel Malzaire said almost everyone who came in contact with the late President was impressed by "the gentle, manly manner in which our brother handled criticism".

Bishop Malzaire said during the homily that Dominicans can learn from the way that Dr. Liverpool tolerated criticism from persons who were "often the most unintelligent (and who) are authorities on everything."

He added that Dr. Liverpool was one of the Caribbean's best legal minds.

"This community of Grandbay can be justly proud to produce a man of such stature and I dare say one of Dominica's best minds," Bishop Malzaire said.

Dr Liverpool served as the President of the Commonwealth of Dominica from October 2, 2003 to September 17, 2012.

He died after an operation on June 1, 2015 in Miami, USA.