Amidst the celebration of the arts during this year’s Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival, which ends this weekend, the island mourns the loss of two iconic figures. The first, Frank Norville was laid to rest on Saturday May 2 following a cultural celebration of his life at the Cathedral of the Minor Basilica in Castries. Norville, a prominent cultural activist who arranged and recorded a large repertoire of Saint Lucian folk music including the popular “Tiwe’ Lanmew” died on April 8 at the age of 70. The actor, photographer, musician and dancer suffered a stroke last year resulting in him being hospitalized for several months.Then on Tuesday May 5 Alwyn St. Omer informed the nation via an official statement that his father, Sir Dunstan St. Omer, SLC, MBE had died. “The family of Sir Dunstan St. Omer informs that Sir Dunstan St. Omer passed away peacefully at 11:25 pm on the 5th day of May, 2015 with his family around him, at his residence, at Union,” the statement read.
Sir Dunstan is credited with designing the national flag of Saint Lucia and is also recognized for his popular church murals across the island including “the black madona.”
As a mark of respect for the memory of the late Sir Dunstan St. Omer, Prime Minister, Dr. Kenny Anthony has directed that the flag of Saint Lucia be flown at half-mast at all Government owned facilities, Saint Lucian Embassies and consular offices, from May 6, 2015 until further notice.
Given that Sir Dunstan was the designer of the national flag, Prime Minister Anthony has called on all Saint Lucians to display our national flag on our vehicles, homes and social media as a mark of honour.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, May 6, 2015, Prime Minister Anthony advised that the Government of Saint Lucia has offered an official funeral for Sir Dunstan St. Omer.