by Eulana Weekes
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): A State Funeral for the former Governor General Samuel Weymouth Tapley Seaton GCMG, CVO, KC, JP, LL.D marked the culmination of a period of national mourning in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.
The body of the former Governor General was laid to rest at the Springfield Cemetery following a farewell service with full military honours at the Zion Moravian Church in Basseterre on Thursday, July 20, 2023.
Greta Foreman, Seaton’s sister, presented the Eulogy, in which she candidly informed the audience that she wouldn’t focus on her brother’s academic and professional achievements; thus emphasising that that information could be accessed online. Instead, Foreman shared beautiful and lasting memories of her brother.
“I miss being able to access Tapley’s fount of local, historical knowledge. I miss his love of plants and flowers, and I miss our chats about his garden at Market Street, which someone once described as an Oasis, which it is. He transformed the grounds and garden at Government House during his tenure there. He was an ace gardener and had an eye for what looked good. I will miss his alerts to me about impending bad weather. I will miss his calls to me at night to make sure that I had got home safely after a night on the town. I miss talking to him about food. He was a pretty good cook and always thought that he was a better cook than I am; “In his dreams, of course.” Though, I must admit that he beat me out on the Christmas ham. I miss those midnights and other times when I would message him or call him, and we would have good old stupes about the latest score in West Indies Cricket. It’s wise that I say nothing more about that. There didn’t seem to be any topic about which Tapley couldn’t speak of knowledgeably, except perhaps about brain surgery.”
Foreman acknowledged and expressed gratitude to the people and organisations that extended sympathy greetings and paid homage to her brother. She also read a few noteworthy greetings, including one from King Charles III.
“I’d like to read a letter dated 8th July, sent to me from Buckingham Palace and it says, “Dear Mrs Foreman, I wanted to write and say how very sorry my wife and I are to hear of the recent death of your brother Sir Tapley Seaton and to send you our deepest sympathy. I know that Sire Tapley’s lifelong dedication to the people of St. Christopher and Nevis was truly remarkable, from becoming the youngest Attorney General in the Commonwealth at the age of just 29 to serving proudly as Governor General for over seven years. His commitment to the education and development of young people, the strengthening of the judicial system and the preservation of national heritage and the environment will, I’m sure, be cherished for many years to come. I remember with great fondness the warm welcome my wife and I received from Sir Tapley as we began our most enjoyable visit to St. Christopher and Nevis in 2019; and however inadequate this letter may be, I did so want you and your family to know how much you are in our thoughts and prayers at such a very difficult time of loss.
Yours Sincerely, Charles III”
Preceding the farewell service, a Book of Condolence was opened at Government Headquarters on Wednesday, July 19. The Book was opened again on Thursday morning, July 20, as the body of Sir Tapley Seaton was Lying-in-State at Government House. The military procession paused outside Seaton’s home in Market Street to pay final respect before heading to the church.
Sir Samuel Weymouth Tapley Seaton passed away on June 29, 2023. Flags were flown at half-staff at all Government establishments effective Friday, June 30, 2023, until the completion of the burial.
Some of Seaton’s noteworthy achievements include Crown Counsel for the Attorney General’s Chambers under the Robert L Bradshaw Administration. In 1980, he became the first Attorney General of St.Kitts and Nevis, serving until 1995. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1988. On May 20, 2015, Seaton became the Acting Governor-General of the Federation but was appointed as the fourth Governor General on September 01, 2015. He served in that capacity until January 31, 2023.