Cabinet says no state or official funeral for Director of Culture

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By Carl Joseph

The Cabinet has decided not to afford the late Director of Culture, Vaughn Walter, a state or official funeral.

Cabinet spokesman Melford Nicholas said yesterday that the late cultural icon does not meet the criteria necessary for either level of distinction.

“There is a protocol that governs who can be accorded a state funeral and who can be accorded an official funeral. And, I think in the case of Mr Walter, would not reach the level of being accorded either.”

Walter died suddenly at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Grounds last Friday.

He had served in the area of culture since 1999. In 2009, he took the post of Director of Culture until the time of his passing.

Early this year, he was seconded to be the head of the CARIFESTA XV with Antigua and Barbuda playing the part of host country come 2021.

Though not being awarded a national funeral, for his distinguished service in culture, Nicholas said that, “the Cabinet has made a determination that it will make a financial contribution towards the funeral expenses and that will be communicated through the Minister of Culture in recognition of the significant work that he has done.”

The minister, unsure as to whether the family was notified of the government’s intention at the time of yesterday’s Cabinet press briefing, did not wish to disclose the amount of the funeral grant.

No decision has been yet taken as to Walter’s replacement as the head of the CARIFESTA XV organising committee.

“Possibly what may be more appropriate at this time of bereavement, and until the funeral takes place… It may just be a matter of good form not to have to deal with the issue of a replacement,” said Nicholas.

“But, I’m sure it’s something the Minister of Culture will deal with.”

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