The Archbishop of the Cape Coast Catholic Archdiocese and the Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Accra, Most Rev. Charles Gabriel Palmer-Buckle, has appealed to Ghanaians to desist from wasting precious time and resources on funerals at the expense of the poor and needy.
He commended the government and the family of the late J.H. Mensah for organising a state funeral within 40 days, describing the move as a good example to Ghanaians who were caught up in the phenomenon of wasting resources on one-week observance of funerals.
Archbishop Palmer-Buckle made the appeal when he delivered the homily at the burial service of J.H. Mensah at the Accra International Conference Centre. He was laid to rest at the new Military Cemetery at La.
The funeral service was attended by former Presidents J. J. Rawlings, J. A. Kufuor and John Dramani Mahama as well as Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, a former First Lady.
Former President Kufuor’s wife, Mrs Theresa Kufuor, is a younger sister of the late J. H Mensah.
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Mr Mensah was the Minority Leader in the Second Parliament of the Fourth Republic; a Senior Minister in the Kufuor administration, and Finance Minister in the Busia administration in the Second Republic.
He also worked with the United Nations Department of Economics and Social Affairs in the 1950s.
Archbishop Palmer-Buckle advised the public against keeping their dead relatives in the morgue for a very long time and afterwards spending huge sums of money and resources, including precious time, to organise one-week rites and funerals.
He said another worrying occurrence was where people usually left their work to attend funerals and one-week rites of the dead, using state resources.
He suggested that instead of wasting resources on such rites and funerals, the public should spend their time and money on the living.
Archbishop Palmer-Buckle said the old, sick and poor could benefit immensely if such resources were channelled to support them, adding that leaders of the country should set good example, like the President had done by holding the funeral of J.H Mensah on time.
The Archbishop said J. H Mensah was a staunch Christian who exhibited a Christ-like life in all his endeavours by supporting the poor, serving his nation patriotically and caring for the needy.
He stated that he made his mark as a good person who would forever be remembered for his role in the affairs of Parliament, quoting portions of the tribute of the current Minority Leader, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, which indicated that Ghana would hardly get any of his kind.
In his tribute, the Minority Leader had said that “Ghana will forever miss you; Parliament will forever miss you; your family will forever miss you. We, however, take consolation in knowing that your legacy lives on and that the many lives you have affected will continue to live by your principles and what you stood for. J H Mensah, will Parliament ever see your like again? Rest in perfect peace in the bosom of the Lord.”
Archbishop Palmer-Buckle asked rhetorically whether Ghana’s Parliament would have such a dedicated and strong voice just as the Minority Leader had said, and urged the Members of Parliament to work assiduously to produce his replica for the benefit of the country.
He said those with power and authority must use it to serve the interest of the nation and the people because they had an opportunity to serve and not to be served.