Submitted by BU family member (as a comment)
We, my wife and myself, recently attended a funeral in Barbados. We have attended many, and understand how important a funeral is to many Barbadians. The deceased person was the brother of a good friend of ours, and we were attending to give our friend some support, and, as we so often say, to renew our contact with him even though the circumstances were very sad.
The service proceeded according to the order of service given to us, and the eulogy was delivered. The next item, according to the order of service, was to be a tribute from his brother, our friend. However, whoever was on the public address system said that the next item would be a solo singing rendition, from someone else. By this time, our friend had arrived at the rostrum, and he turned to the announcer and said, with the microphone in his hand, that the announcement was a mistake, and that according to the order of service, which we all held in our hands (I estimate a four to five hundred attendance in the church), he was now to give a tribute to his dead brother.
We have never ever witnessed at a funeral what happened next! As our friend asserted his right to give a tribute, the minister of the church, robes flowing, nearly physically assaulted our friend, and stopped his presentation. The minister forcibly took the microphone out of our friend’s hands.
My wife and myself walked out of the church in disgust. We were the first to move, many followed, and the altercations continued in the car park outside the church as we drove away.
We did not understand what was going on there. However, we do know that the deceased person was a prominent member of the Freemasons, and his brother, who is not a member of the Freemasons, only wanted to deliver a tribute at the funeral as announced in the published order of service given to us all on entry to the church. Perhaps Lodge members at the church did not want the brother of the deceased to give this tribute. This is pure speculation. Certainly an announcement at the beginning of the service would have politely told us all that there had been a change in the published order.
Whether the Freemasons present were responsible or not for this disruption of a funeral service held in an Anglican church here in Barbados, we believe that the behaviour of the presiding minister of this church should be brought to the attention of our Rt. Rev. Dr. John Holder, and that at least some sort of formal public apology be given by the Anglican Church for this outrage and near desecration of a House of God, not to mention the disrespect shown to the deceased person, and his brother.