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Saint Lucia Mourns the Passing of Mr. George Odlum

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Contact: Rose Marie Harris

Tuesday, September 30, 2003 Ė The Government of Saint Lucia joins the nation in mourning the death of former Foreign Affairs Minister George Odlum, who passed away on Sunday morning September 28, 2003, after a prolonged battle with cancer.

George Odlum

Mr. George Odlum

Mr. Odlum served the Government of Saint Lucia first as a minister in the Labour Party administration elected after the 1979 general elections and then again after the 1997 polls. Between that time, he served as Saint Luciaís Ambassador to the United Nations.

As Foreign Minister, Mr. Odlum was the architect of the governmentís foreign policy, the highlight of which was the establishment of relations with the Peopleís Republic of China (PRC). He also championed the cause of the developing countries, particularly of the non-independent territories in various corners of the world.

Mr. Odlumís former Cabinet colleagues were kept abreast of his condition throughout the course of his illness, especially during his painful final days.

Cabinet Secretary Dr. James Fletcher says, that as a mark of mourning and respect on Mr. Odlumís passing, the Government of Saint Lucia has decreed that all flags on government buildings and other government agencies should be flown at half mast from September 29, 2003, until further notice.

As a former member of Parliament and government minister, Mr. Odlum also qualifies for an official burial, which will be accorded.

Funeral arrangements will be announced later by Mr. Odlumís family and an official statement will be made as to date and venue of the proceedings.

Meanwhile, Minister of Commerce, Tourism, Investment and Consumer Affairs, Honourable Philip J. Pierre returned home Monday September 29, 2003 to assume the position of Acting Prime Minister. Upon his immediate return, Mr. Pierre presided over Mondayís Cabinet of Ministers meeting. Among items discussed on the dayís packed agenda were plans for the official funeral for the late former Foreign Affairs Minister, George Odlum.

The Cabinet meeting also discussed plans for the internment of former Police Commissioner Mr. Brian Bernard.

The Cabinet of Minister were also updated on the state of recovery of the Honourable Prime Minister following his recent illness in New York.

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