Moving tributes as Fr Morrison laid to rest
Stabroek News
January 30, 2004

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"Did you ever know that you are my hero", an emotional group from the St Joseph the Worker Parish, Linden sang yesterday as they paid tribute to the late Fr Andrew Morrison SJ yesterday.

Founded by Morrison several years ago, the youths delivered a moving rendition of Bette Midler's `Wind Beneath my Wings' drawing tears from many eyes as they offered tributes to their mentor. The group continued their approbation on the steel pan and played to the end of the service.

The former Catholic Standard editor who died on Monday as a result of respiratory complications was often called a man of the people and yesterday hundreds gathered at the Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church, Main Street, hours before the commencement of the funeral service to celebrate his life. As the numbers grew, a multitude was left standing throughout the liturgy.

The packed and overflowing church was an obvious testimony to the legend Morrison; no one left before his body was taken for burial.

Many wept while others sat teary-eyed. Among those clearly moved by the service were the youth group and members of the Jesuit community.

Delivering the eulogy was Jesuit Regional Superior, Fr Joe Chira, SJ. He pointed out that Morrison was so celebrated that the media eulogised him immediately after his death, adding that not one aspect of the priest's life was forgotten.

He said that Fr Morrison was a son of the soil who committed himself to doing God's will. Chira said that Morrison forsake his own life and went after promoting the lives of others, especially youth and will always be remembered as the priest who fought vigorously for democracy.

Retired bishop Benedict Singh performed the final commendation before the conclusion of the service. Fr Morrison, 84, was laid to rest at the Jesuit Vault, Le Repentir Cemetery.

President Bharrat Jagdeo; Prime Minister Samuel Hinds; former president Janet Jagan; Minister of Foreign Trade and International Cooperation, Clement Rohee; Minister within the Ministry of Human Services, Bibi Shadick; Speaker of the National Assembly, Ralph Ramkarran; and members of the Diplomatic Corps were among those paying their last respects.

The audience also included former chief of staff of the army, Major General (rtd) Joe Singh; former commissioner of police, Laurie Lewis; and Demerara Distillers Ltd Chairman, Yesu Persaud.