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The end is here

John Sealy

The end is here

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IT WAS the final curtain for thousands of Barbadians as they got a last look at the body of the late Prime Minister David John Howard Thompson lying in state yesterday. He will be interred at the historic St.John Anglican churchyard today after a church service at Kensington.
Thompson died two years into his tenure as prime minister of Barbados after succumbing to the ravages of pancreatic cancer October 23 at his private residence at Mapps, St. Philip.
That the residents of St. John had the honour of “sending off” Thompson was appropriate. He was their parliamentary representative for 23 years.
Ianthe Downie, described as the matriarch of St. John, was eager to tell stories about Thompson “the son”, she would never forget.
She recalled her early experiences with Thompson saying that she was introduced to him by the late Errol Walton Barrow also a parliamentary representative the same parish. Thompson took over from Barrow.
Eager to talk about everything Thompson Downie said he paid her a surprise visit at her 35th wedding anniversary; was there for her grandson christening even before the church door was opened and when she had problems with her foot he was there sitting  on her bed consoling her in United States of America .
There were so many stories Downie wanted to tell about Thompsom, but  tears rolling along her cheeks got in the way.
Yesterday was a time when different generations shared the same space and focus: to thank Thompson for making a difference in their lives not only on a professional but also personnally.
Primary school students, from across the hilly environs of the eastern parish, sang lustily under the musical direction of Anthony Sargeant. Their innocent voices added a special lift to the sombre mood with a number of beautifully rendered pieces including the popular How Great Thou art.
Thompson’s daughters Oya and Misha  also paid a visit to the church. After  looking at burial site they interacted with the mourners freely accepting hugs and condolences in good stride.
The legal fraternity was also out in full force taking turns doing vigil along with the Barbados Defence Force, Coast Guard among other forces.