Peaceful funeral for political activist
December 23, 2014
Peaceful funeral for political activist

The compound of the Chauncey Methodist Church was the gathering place for a large number of people last Saturday, when the body of Edgar Cruickshank was laid to rest, following a peaceful funeral service.

Cruickshank’s body lay at the Questelles Evangelical Church from 1 p.m. on Saturday for viewing,{{more}} before it was escorted by friends and family and the music of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Band to the Chauncey Methodist Church for the funeral service, which began at 2:30 p.m.

Many persons had the opportunity to deliver tributes in speech and song to the deceased, reminiscing on the happy times that they shared with the well-known man.

In his delivery of the eulogy, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves declared that Cruickshank had lived a full and joyous life, having had several occupations in his lifetime: as a police officer, an independent contractor, a sportsman and supervisory positions at the Ministry of Transport and the Kingstown Board.

“He was excellent at all his professional labours. He was disciplined and honest to his employers; he was demanding and caring of his workers. His employees treasured him always for his kind considerations. His generosity and goodness to his neighbours and friends gushed from him, not upon a calculation of interest, but from his selfless Christian love and extraordinary humanity,” he said.

Having been strongly involved in the political arena, Gonsalves reflected on his long-time friend’s habit of appearing everywhere in his “trademark red ULP T-shirt” and lauded him for being an avid listener of parliamentary debates and a political polemicist who was highly persuasive in his arguments (see page 25 for the full eulogy).

Among the numerous tributes, was one from Cruickshank’s cousin, Parnel Campbell QC.

Campbell, who affectionately referred to his cousin as ‘Lot’, revealed that growing up, Cruickshank was one of his favourite cousins. The former attorney general shared memories of his cousin, especially from when he (Campbell) had entered politics with the opposing party.

“He never at one time was personally hostile to me,” he said.

“Over the years, we would talk invariably about politics. When we were in office and as attorney general…remarkably he never came to me to complain about anything personal with him. He came to complain about something done to somebody else. He came to ask for a political favour for somebody else; never for him.”

Cruickshank has left to mourn his wife, Cecelia Cruickshank and 16 children.

In her tribute to her father, Janet Mason thanked everyone who spoke kind words about her father and who remembered him as the good man that he was.

Cruickshank, a long-time political activist and former national cricketer, died on December 7, after succumbing to injuries caused by being hit by a motor vehicle while attending a New Democratic Party (NDP) political meeting at Clare Valley on December 6. It had been rumoured that the known ULP supporter had thrown his support behind the NDP, during the weeks before his death.(BK)