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Final tribute to Arthur N.R. Robinson begins

Published: 
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Traffic disruptions in Port of Spain as...
Former President and Prime Minister Arthur N.R. Robinson's funeral procession moves through downtown Port-of Spain this morning. PHOTO: KRISTIAN DE SILVA

Severe traffic disruptions hit Port-of-Spain today as former President Arthur NR Robinson beganhis final procession.

Robinson, 87, who was also a former Prime Minister and the first chairman of the Tobago House of Assembly, died on March 9 from kidney failure and is to be buried in Scarborough on Saturday after two state funerals—one in Port-of-Spain on Thursday and the other in Scarborough on Saturday.

A traffic advisory issued by the Ministry of Communications said there would be temporary road closures and no parking zones in certain parts of the city with effect from 6 am Tuesday and continuing into Wednesday.

Details of the funeral arrangements were given by public relations officer of the T&T Coast Guard, Lt Commander Kirk Jean-Baptiste, at the National Security Operations Centre, Knowsley, Port-of-Spain, yesterday.

He said there would be a procession from Clark and Battoo Funeral Home on Tragarete Road to the Parliament, Tower D, Waterfront Complex, Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain, where the body would lie in state today and tomorrow.

The body will be transported on a gun carriage in a slow-walk military procession from Clarke and Battoo Funeral Home at 6.30 am east on Tragarete Road, south along St Vincent Street, east on Knox Street and south along Abercromby Street to the Red House, where the Eternal Flame will be lit and then proceed south along Abercromby Street to Independence Square and west on the Brian Lara Promenade to the Waterfront Complex for public viewing.

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and other dignitaries will view the body from 8 am to 10 am. Members of the public will be allowed to view the body from 10 am to 5.30 pm today.

Tomorrow, the body will be taken in a vehicular procession to the Waterfront Complex for public viewing.

Press Secretary Francis Joseph, who also attended the briefing, said Persad-Bissessar would arrive for the public viewing of Robinson’s body at 10 am today. He also said Persad-Bissessar would arrive at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA) at 8.40 am to meet Robinson’s family, including his daughter Ann Margaret, son David and granddaughter Anushka, on Thursday for the State Funeral.

Some 5,000 students will line the streets leading the NAPA for Thursday’s funeral and big screens will be set up at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Memorial Park and at Harris Promenade, San Fernando, for public viewing.
Chairman of the Integrity Commission Ken Gordon, who is a close friend of the Robinsons, will speak on behalf of the family.

Other addresses will be given by President Anthony Carmona, Persad-Bissessar, former Commonwealth Secretary General Sir Shridath Ramphal and the President of the International Criminal Court Sang-Hyun Song.
Robinson was largely responsible for establishing the ICC in 2002.