FREEPORT, Grand Bahama, The Bahamas – Hundreds of people from all walks of life gathered at the Pro-Cathedral of Christ the King on Saturday, October 14, 2023 for the funeral service of the late Hon. Obadiah H. Wilchcombe, Minister of Social Services, Information and Broadcasting and Member of Parliament for West Grand Bahama and Bimini.
A State Funeral service was held in Nassau on Thursday, and the Minister’s body was flown to Grand Bahama for a Memorial Service on Friday at Bishop Michael Eldon Auditorium. The Funeral Service and Burial in Grand Bahama, his birthplace, took place on Saturday.
Former Prime Ministers the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie and the Rt. Hon. Hubert Ingraham, current and former Members of Parliament, senior government officials and a cross-section of people from not only Grand Bahama but all over the nation came together to honour and pay last respects to a person widely described as having given a life of service to his country.
Giving a special tribute to Minister Wilchcombe was former Prime Minister Christie, who shared the long-time friendship they had and how Minister Wilchcombe was instrumental in his becoming leader of the Progressive Liberal Party. He said that “Obie had a specialness” that enabled him to connect with people from all walks of life, leading to his success as government minister, politician, and friend.
After the two-and-a-half hour service, the motorcade carrying the Minister transported him to West End. At the West End Public Cemetery a mausoleum was erected by the community for their leader.
Cars and people lined the entrance to the cemetery as the motorcade was escorted in by Legends Marching Band.
At 2:30 p.m., the hearse carrying the Minister pulled into the cemetery, lined with members of the Royal Bahamas Police and Defence Force officers, along with the public. Although hundreds of people were in attendance, silence filled the air. As the flag-draped coffin got closer to its final resting place, the crowd stirred. Tents had been erected so those attending were protected from the rain. The late Obie Wilchcombe was laid to rest just after 3:30 pm.