SIR DEREK Alton Walcott, who died at home in Saint Lucia last Friday, is to receive a State funeral.
The Cabinet of Ministers approved the decision on Monday in light of the contribution by Sir Derek to Saint Lucia.
This highest national honour, normally reserved for heads of state and government, has been conferred on Sir Derek out of respect for his exceptional contribution to the literary and artistic legacy of Saint Lucia, the Caribbean and the world.
The funeral of Sir Derek, poet, artist, playwright and 1992 Nobel Prize for Literature, will take place at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Castries this Saturday at 2:00 p.m.
Prior to the funeral, the body will lie in State in Parliament with public viewing from 11:00a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Given the anticipated attendance of numerous fellow artists, foreign dignitaries and officials, arrangements are also being made for a live public screening of the funeral service at the Derek Walcott Square.
It has also been confirmed that Sir Derek will be laid to rest at Morne Fortune, near the Inniskilling Monument, a site vested in the Saint Lucia National Trust and within close proximity of fellow laureate, Sir Arthur Lewis’ resting place.
Preceding the State funeral, an evening of tribute and celebration will be held tomorrow at the National Cultural Centre starting at 7:00 p.m. This event is open to the public and will be hosted by the Cultural Development Foundation. It will include readings, recitations and performances by local and visiting artists, writers and musicians.