Dennie Wilson’s royal sendoff
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May 12, 2023

Dennie Wilson’s royal sendoff

EDITOR: On the heels of the Archbishop of Canterbury His Grace Justin Welby, bestowing the highest honour of the Church of England on King Charles 111, the Bishop of the Windward Islands, the Rt Rev Calvert Leopold Friday, was giving another of its sons, Dennie Wilson, a royal send off at the St. Matthias Anglican church, in Ashton, Union Island. The Bishop was assisted by Lay Reader Claudia John, and other priests including Fr. Ulric Jones.

Dennie served the church in all the places where he lived and worked. Carriacou, Bequia, St. Vincent, New York, and Union Island saw his active participation in the work of the church. He did all that he could as a lay person, and he aspired to become a priest at one time. He was the chairperson of the St. Matthias Restoration Committee and took a keen interest in the local congregation. He engaged me as a Music tutor for his two daughters, Denica and Tedra. He desired that the church music be enriched. Dennie was only able to accomplish all that he did because of the support of his wife Idica John-Wilson.

Hon. Frederick Stephenson, Minister of the Public Service, in his tribute, expressed appreciation for Dennie Wilson’s life of service. He taught at the Mary Hutchinson Primary School, and the Bequia Community High School. He served as Revenue Officer for the Southern Grenadines. He was also appointed as a senator by Hon Milton Cato and subsequently served as Speaker of the House. He served overseas as ambassador to the United Nations.

Pastor Henry Snagg, president of the SDA church in SVG, in his tribute told how both of them were confirmed together in the Anglican church, taught together at Mary Hutchinson Primary, both later attended a crusade but Dennie did not show up for his baptism.

As scout master, Dennie took our troupe on a camp to Frigate Rock. Among the scouts were Drs Stephen Dallas, Bernard Lewis, and Anthony Stewart. Whelks were used to make a broth. Since I was an SDA, I could not eat the whelk so they gave me the broth. On my last visit to NY in December, Dennie insisted on giving me a shirt.

I told him I had enough clothes. He persisted so I told he, he could get me a tablet, since one of the children could make use of it. Now I stand to inherit all the shirts since I am among the few who appreciate “dead left.”

Laverne Velox, Major Leacock, and Dr. the Hon. Godwin Friday, of the NDP expressed gratitude for Dennie’s support of the party. Glenford Stewart presented the eulogy. Dennie served both the Cato and Mitchell Governments with distinction. Words associated with his service are accountability, responsibility and integrity.

The Commissioner of Police ensured that Dennie was accorded full state funeral rites. A large contingent of officers accompanied the cortege to the cemetery with appropriate music from the Police Band. The requisite gun salute was executed and the bugle played taps.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea, with a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me; as he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free, while God is marching on.

May his life inspire excellence in service.

Anthony G Stewart PhD