By Justin Peters
The official funeral and thanksgiving for the first Lady President of the Upper House of Parliament, Senator Millicent Percival was held yesterday at the St. George’s Anglican Church in Fitches Creek. Described as a warm, friendly, stylish and well-loved individual, she positively touched the lives of everyone she came into contact with in one way or another.
Several tributes were given, including those by His Excellency, Governor General of Antigua and Barbuda, Sir Rodney Williams; former Prime Minister and now National Hero, Sir Lester Bryant Bird; Ambassador Bernard S. Percival, the AT&LU Combined Choir, the Honourable Samantha Marshall, and Ambassador Gail Christian. In addition, Millicent Percival was lauded by Arlene Jacobs of the Women’s Action Group; Rudolph Davis; her cousins, Sheila Pigott, Joanne and Ivor Hodge; her son Harrison Joseph; and her nephew Lawrence King. They all expressed their warm experiences of having interacted with her professionally and personally.
The Honourable Steadroy Benjamin masterfully delivered a heart-warming eulogy while the Honourable Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda; and the Honourable Dr. Baldwin Spencer, Leader of the Opposition gave the first and second readings respectively.
In attendance were members of the AT&LU, Ministers of government, members of the Antigua and Barbuda Bodybuilding Association, as well as numerous family and friends. Many of those attending to pay respects, were dressed in red as a sign of respect for her years of dedication and service to Antigua and Barbuda under the Antigua Labour Party.
The Royal Antigua and Barbuda Police Force, The Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force, The Coast Guard, and the Fire Police assembled to salute Mrs. Percival as she was laid to rest in the presence of God, friends and family. The Police Band provided music at the gravesite and, female officers dressed in black uniforms gave the honourary 21-gun salute.
To close the ceremony, wreaths were laid by immediate family, His Excellency the Governor General, the Honourable Prime Minister, President of the Senate, Speaker of the House, Leader of the Opposition, Chief of Defence Staff, Commissioner of Police, Women’s Action Group, Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party, and the general public. May the soul of Millicent Percival rest in eternal peace.