|No National Arena viewing for Daddy U-Roy – March 28 funeral at Dovecot|
The body of legendary toaster Ewart ‘U-Roy’ Beckford will not lie in state at the National Arena as reported in some sections of the media, the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport confirmed to The Gleaner.
“There will not be a viewing at the National Arena because of COVID-19,” said Oliver Watt, director of public relations and corporate communications, Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport.
“We will announce funeral arrangements at a later date. At that time, Minister Grange will give a statement,” Watt added.
Marcia Smikle, U-Roy’s partner of over 40 years, told The Gleaner that initially the discussions had centred around plans to host two viewings, one at the National Arena in Kingston on March 25, and the other at Perry’s Funeral Home in Spanish Town. Perry’s, which handled the funeral for late reggae icon Frederick ‘Toots’ Hibbert, is also managing the burial of the legendary deejay.
“Because of the virus and the restrictions in place, people will not be able to attend the funeral, so they were looking forward to get their last look and say their final farewells at the viewings. But if the COVID numbers are rising, then the best decision must be taken. I know everybody going to be disappointed about this; we really wanted to give people a chance to pay their respects because he was a public figure and also a very popular man,” Smikle said.
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