The state funeral of former Prime Minister and National Hero Sir Lester Bryant Bird will take place on August 26 – with the day to be declared a national holiday.
Confirmation came moments ago from the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff Lionel Hurst.State funerals are held to honour people of the most momentous national significance.
Sir Lester was 83 years old when he died on Monday morning following a long battle with his health.
Flags across the country are already being flown at half mast and will continue until the day of the funeral. Sir Lester was one of two living national heroes, along with cricketing legend Sir Vivian Richards, 69.
He is remembered as one of the Caribbean’s most illustrious sons, who contributed immensely to the development of Antigua and Barbuda and the wider region. He served as the country’s second prime minister from 1994 to 2004.
The Antigua Grammar School-educated politician and former lawyer was also a keen sportsman who saw international success in cricket and long jump.
Cabinet has established a special committee comprising Health Minister Molwyn Joseph, Social Transformation Minister Dean Jonas and Foreign Affairs Minister EP Chet Greene to help organise the funeral’s details.
We will bring you more information as we get it.