A woman rings a bell amidst jeering as PM Gonsalves is called to give a tribute at the funeral of Elwardo “E.G.” Lynch. (IWN photo)

The persons who heckled Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves at the funeral of Elwardo “E.G.” Lynch on Saturday behaved in a manner that is “alien to our Christian tradition and teachings,” Gonsalves told I-Witness News on Monday.

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Gonsalves was booed and jeered as he entered the church immediately behind the cortege.

The booing and jeering intensified and at least one bell was rung as he was called upon to pay tribute to Lynch.

Lynch, who gained national fame as host of the opposition New Democratic Party’s (NDP) “New Times” programme on NICE Radio was Gonsalves’ former political ally.

In 2003, Gonsalves sued Lynch for defamation and spoke with derision about Lynch’s offer of a shake hand while asking for forgiveness.

In the lead up to the funeral, some NDP activists and supporters said Gonsalves should not be allowed to speak at Lynch’s funeral.

“What I will say is that a small minority, some may even say a tiny minority of the persons who were jeering or booing, that they have conducted themselves in a manner which is alien to our Christian tradition and teachings, regarding respect for funerals, respect for the deceased, respect for family, and respect for the place itself, the place of worship,” Gonsalves told I-Witness News on Monday.

“The church is not a fish market. It is a place of sanctity and solemnity and a funeral is an event of community solidarity with the family of the deceased. And even the person who is dead, there are people who go to funerals who may not have been on the best terms with somebody who is dead, but they see it as an opportunity for reconciliation and healing and closing of a chapter. That is the tradition which I know, since I am going up,” Gonsalves said.

Prime Minister Gonsalves is flanked by two of Lynch's children, Keino Spring, left, and Shafia London, right, and a member of his security detail as he speaks at the funeral. (IWN photo)
Prime Minister Gonsalves is flanked by two of Lynch’s children, Keino Spring, left, and Shafia London, right, and a member of his security detail as he speaks at the funeral. (IWN photo)

Leader of the Opposition and President of the NDP, Arnhim Eustace and NDP founder and former prime minister Sir James Mitchell, did not attempt to quell the jeering.

“Most right-thinking people will see that as a failure of leadership on the part of Mr. Eustace, and I think also a failure of leadership on the part of the priest who was in charge of the conduct of the funeral service,” Gonsalves said in reference to Rev. Fr. Ulric C. Jones.

Regarding Sir James, Gonsalves said:

“I don’t think so, because, Sir James himself, when he spoke, what that same minority would have considered unfavorable comments … you would have heard the reaction from that minority…

“They seems to have thought that this was some sort of a bellicose funeral rally,” Gonsalves said, adding that the vast majority of mourners conducted themselves appropriately.

“This point has to be made on behalf of the Anglican community and on behalf of all the persons assembled there that they wanted an orderly church service in concert with our Christian tradition,” Gonsalves said.

“You know there were a lot of ULP supporters at that funeral,” he said.

When asked to comment on the fact that some ULP supporters engaged in loud engages with NDP supporters inside the church, Gonsalves said:

“Well, I would wish that when people go to church that people don’t quarrel with one another. You go to church; it is a community. The same way, when you go to church some people don’t want you to shake their hand, give a sign of peace. All those things are completely out of order,” he said.

“A church is a place of sanctity. You don’t stone it, you don’t behave badly in it, you behave respectfully, you don’t curse in it, you don’t quarrel in it. … It is not a place for worrisome behavior,” Gonsalves told I-Witness News.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPlNrNLWbOQ

20 replies on “PM comments on heckling at Lynch’s funeral”

  1. Kalik Crick says:

    I am not a fan of the Prime Minister, but this was total disrespect towards him. No one should be disrespect at a funeral especially at a place of worship. Shame on all those who tried to interrupt the Prime Minister while he was trying to pay his respect. There’s a saying, what goes around, comes around.

  2. Basil Dougan says:

    you are so right doc. I would not be supprised that the priest mentioned is the one who organized the heckling.

  3. To Whom it may concern:

    I am writing this email to say how shame and embarrass I am to be a Vincentian. There is no words to describe the embarrassment and to know how toxic people are.

    We are all human being and entitled to our own opinions and responsible for our behavior, but when adults human being going in to the house of god with that kind of behavior the only way to describe them as toxic.

    As a little girl growing up I know Lynch and what he did to the people of Georgetown when he was working at the post office. I am sure the people who he have hurt and done wrong too they have forget him and may his soul rest in pace .

    As the saying goes behind every successful man there is a good woman . Behind every country there is a good leader July 1984 James Mitchell won the general elections and became the New Democratic Party leader. He remained the leader until his retirement.

    After Sir James Mitchell retirement!!!! Arnhim Eustace took over from October 27,2000 to March 29,2001 ( FIVE MONTHS) . March 29,2001 the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines decided they need a change by voting for a new leader on March 29,2001, Mr. Gonsalves.

    My question is what the hell is their problem. There is bad everywhere we as human being just have to surviving the ups and downs and ride the storms. We all have every day challenges but it’s important to remember the good and the bad .

    I think Arnhim Eustace and his people along with the Minster who did the funeral service need to apologize to Mr. Gonsalves for their inappropriate , immature and lacked of respect behavior . It was very embarrassing the people of St. Vincent and Grenadines need to curbing their thoughtless action and learn to adjust themselves in situation. We are called to be godly people who think, feel and act in harmony

    If you have any thoughts in this , Please feel free to share. You may contact me at your convenience.

    Thank you.

  4. Tobias Pastel says:

    Hello MR Gunsalves;

    I think you are losing your marbles, as Lynch would say. Have you ever heard that reconciliation and healing can be done with a dead body, when god take the breath away from the body, that is the end of that man mortal chapter, you miss the boat, when lynch was alive and he came to you asking for that reconciliation and healing you said NO, so it is to late, you were to do it when he was alive. You only went there to stir up trouble.

    Mr Gunsalve you were not even dressed like you were going to a funeral, you looked like you were going to the market, look at the state of you shirt. Did you dress like that to attend Glen Jackson funeral? No you dressed in one of your best suites.

    You did not think EG was good enough for you to put on your Sunday best to attend his funeral. You certrainily looked out of place, you were not dressed for the ocassion.

    If Mr Eustace had get up to stop those person, I beleive the people would of throw him out the church, because they were offended by the presence of he Prime Minister, and they made it known., so I think he did the best thing by staying clear of what was happening..

    1. one question for all you people who is bad mouthing Mr. Gonsalves . How many of you help to pay Lynch hospital bills while he was in the hospital sick . How many of you can walk in Mr. Gonsalves shoe to be come a prime minster. So who the hell are you to say he should not attend the funeral

  5. Your right what goes around, comes around. All the nasty, dirty remark made by the PM in the pass come back to him…..HAHA!

    And he have a lot more to get, this is just the start. For example alleged rape, owing people for lands, million dollar deposit and the list goes on and on.

    Respect….a red skin (Portuguese man) telling a nation of 98% black he is the blackest politician and George bush cant see Black people at night. Should be shown respect, come on, don’t you people have any shame or self respect as proud black men. (I guess NOT!)

    1. The woman who cried rape say MR Gunsalves rape her why did she wait so long to report it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. Everybody is owing somebody something . I am sure you are owing someone.?.

  6. C. ben-David says:

    Well said, Prime Minister. Too bad that your comments and behaviour out of church are no the same as these.

  7. Peter Binose says:

    BASIL DOUGAN, if it was the priest he was doing in on behalf of his employer, God.

    KALIK CRICK, of course it was total disrespect, it was meant to be total disrespect, he showed Lynch little quarter in life, he showed him more direspect than any other man in his lifetime.

    By going to the funeral Gonsalves was not trying to show his respect, he saw the funeral as an opportunity to try and gain or keep votes. He was electioneering.

    Gonsalves really doesn’t realise that he was taken to the House of the Lord to be punished, and shown that he is a mere man, capable of being punished and embarrassed.

    This was the House of the Lord, whatever happened there can only be the Will of the Lord.

    The girl London may well of been embarrassed as well, so perhaps she was wrong to invite a man that treated her father in such a way that may well of helped contribute to his death.

    Lets praise the Lord, who works in mysterious ways.

    As my father always said ” The Lord pays Debts Without Money”

    Lets see how the claim goes against NiceRadio to pay him the debt that Lynch has left them to pay, in fact it would not surprise me if Gonsalves goes after any estate that Lynch left, if any.

    And people feel sorry for him, sorry for Gonsalves, not me, he deserves all he gets, because “you reap what your sow, and you sow what you reap”.

  8. The happenings at E.G’s funeral is a sad reflection of the present state of affairs in this country. However, Prime Minister Gonsalves, in my opinion, you are the ‘architect of disorderly behaviour’ during this your period of Prime Ministership here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The ‘Road Block Revolution’ of 2001has informed my opinion, and I am quite sure that hundreds of purely-thinking persons will agree with me.
    Prime Minister, when you instigated that ‘revolution’, you opened the door to or you sowed a multiplicity of spirits which included (1). disrespect for authority and each other (2). dissension (3). unruly conduct (4). hatred (5). resentment and bitterness (6). unforgiveness (7). revelry (8). malice (9). discord (10). murder (11). arrogance and haughtiness (12). corruption and I am sure others, which now you are presently reaping. The sad thing however, is that all Vincentians are reaping the harvests of these bad seeds which were sown. How fair is that? The Bible rightly says if you sow to the wind, you will reap the whirlwind. It is clear that we are reaping whirlwind at present in SVG.
    Prime Minister, I am praying that you will understand that as the leader of this country, you have an awesome responsibility to see that this country God ALLOWED you to lead be led in righteousness and that peace, justice and equality be meted out to all citizens of this nation, duly. I will like you to always remember that one day you will have to stand before the Righteous Judge, God, to account for your period of STEWARDSHIP as the PM of SVG. What will you say and how will you act? You will not be able to abscond THAT appointment with this Judge like you have done in some cases with these judges. YOU WILL STAND AND CONFRONT HIM. What an unenviable position you have PM!!!!! I beg you to give seroius consideration to this admonition.
    PM, you can begin by REPENTING for the sins of this nation – not a ‘father-confession’ but a public one. Renounce those spirits to which you have given permission to enter our nation. The Church is behind you, but it is important for you to lead the way. If you are not willing to do so, then you need to step aside. It is frightening what is happening in SVG. I implore you to mortify your pride and avoid a Nebuchadnezzar or Belshazzar episode for your life.
    P.S. All of us as Vincentians do have a personal responsibility to conduct ourselves righteously, but we know that if the head is bad it is difficult for the rest of the body to function effectively.

  9. DAN…i hope you were ashamed and embarrassed to be a Vincentian, when the PM was aquised of rape not once but twice. I hope you were ashamed and embarrassed to be a vincentian when the PM was working obeah for the lord. i also hope you are ashamed and embarrassed when government worker are thieving tax payers and poor people money, and getting promotion instead of facing the courts.

  10. Constructive Use of Power says:

    Mr. Binose, why you so bitter Sir? Seems like you have a major resentment with the PM. Therefore, you’ve made him your GOD as you’ve obviously authorized him to get under your skin.

    If GOD allowed Lynch’s daughter to invite the PM to speak at her Father’s funeral who are you to disallow? So you know better than GOD now as well? The daughter of the deceased is able to forgive and you can’t. Imagine that. She’s is a smart woman. She knows that there is freedom in forgiveness. Take a page out of her chapter and release yourself from the bondage of yourself and live and let live.

    It takes one to know one and many times people are pissed at others because they see things in other people than they don’t like about themselves. Are you seeing some qualities in the PM that you don’t like about yourself?

  11. CAMILO: I’ve pretty much accepted the fact that I am going to meet ignorant people and that’s okay that I can’t control or change. I hate politics !!!!!!!!!!!!. I like to write about it, but to get involved it’s a waste of time. I was raised to think that rock was music for ignorant people who didn’t think for themselves.

  12. JUSTICE!!!. I have a few thing to say to you. A stupid person is lacks of intellectual capacity to evaluate his or her behavior. An ignorant person simply chooses to disregard opportunities to learn and improve. Smart people are not immune to ignorance .

  13. For all the people who think the Prime Minister is doing a bad job as a Prime Minster. The people who call him a rapist. The one who comment on the way he dress for the funeral. The people who think he had no right to attend the funeral. You are all vulnerable to displays of episodic ignorance . The route to wisdom is more a winding road than a well-marked superhighway. History shows that there is nothing so easy to enslave and nothing so hard to emancipate as ignorance. Two things are infinite, as far as we know – the universe and human stupidity

  14. It makes me so sad to see my fellow Vincentians acting this way. Look at how we treat each other as adults. What example are we setting for the youths? We complain about all the drugs; abuse of women and children and all the senseless killings. But look at us! We are the ones the kids and young people look to for guidance, if we treat each other this way, can we really expect better from them?!
    All this Political Tribalism having us disrespecting and hating each other for no reason.
    The politicians we are fighting over don’t treat each other that way in private but look at us.
    …May God help us…

  15. Constructifve Use of Power says:

    Mr. Binose why are you so bitter Sir? Seems like you have a major resentment with the PM. Therefore, you’ve made him your GOD as you’ve obviously authorized him to get under your skin.

    If GOD allowed Lynch’s daughter to invite the PM to speak at her Father’s funeral who are you to disallow? So you know better than GOD now as well? The daughter of the deceased is able to forgive and you can’t. Imagine that. She’s is a smart woman. She knows that there is freedom in forgiveness. Take a page out of her chapter and release yourself from the bondage of yourself and live and let live.

    It takes one to know one and many times people are pissed at others because they see things in other people than they don’t like about themselves. Are you seeing some qualities in the PM that you don’t like about yourself?

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