14.03.2008 General News

Cardinal Dery should be given state burial - Kufuor

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President John Agyekum Kufuor on Thursday directed that the late Cardinal Peter Poreku Dery should be honoured with a state burial and funeral in appreciation of his statesmanship and tremendous contribution to society.

“He was a statesman, leader and pacesetter whose memory is deserving of national attention,” he said, when a delegation of the Catholic Church and the bereaved family called at the Castle, Osu, to officially inform him of the Cardinal's death.

Most Reverend Lucas Abadamloora, President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference led the delegation.

President Kufuor said the late Cardinal was indeed a blessed person, destined to be a pioneer in his whole life and made history by his rise to the pinnacle of his chosen career.

The late Cardinal Dery died on March 6, at the ripe age of 89 at his residence in Tamale.

Mr C.K. Tendam, a Member of the Council of State in a tribute described him as a role model for all “Northerners” adding, “we are all proud of him.”

“He lived all his life building societies. We must continue in his footsteps.”

The Most Reverend Abadamloora said the body of the late Cardinal would be conveyed from the morgue to the OLA Cathedral, Tamale, for reception and then a vigil Mass at the Jubilee Park on Monday, March 31.

This would be followed the next day by a Requiem Mass and final committal at OLA Cathedral.

Born in Nandom Ko in the Upper West, on May 10, 1918, the late Cardinal was ordained into the Priesthood on February 11, 1951, became Bishop of Wa in 1960 and made Cardinal in March 2006 by Pope Benedict XV.

Also at the Castle was a delegation of the Military Command and family of the late Rear Admiral David Animle Hanson, the first Ghanaian to head the Ghana Navy, who died on January 28.

He joined the Ghana Armed Forces in 1951 and held many positions. He was once the Military Assistant to the country's first President, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah.

Mr Albert Kan-Dapaah, in a tribute described him as a fine soldier, a pride not only to the Ghana Armed Forces but the entire nation.

“He was held in high respect at the Burma Camp and leaves behind a proud record.”

President Kufuor conveyed the Government's condolences to the bereaved family and said he was confident that he would be accorded full military honours.

Another delegation made of the bereaved family of the late Ghana's Ambassador to South Korea, Mr Kwadwo A. Sarpong, also called to formally announce to President Kufuor of his death and funeral arrangements.

Aged, 64, his burial has been fixed for March 27, at Essienimpong in the Ejisu-Juaben Municipality.

President Kufuor said the late Ambassador made his mark in the pursuit of the Government's economic diplomacy agenda.

“He served his nation well and I am deeply touched by his death”, he added.

He left behind a wife and six children.

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