Prime Minister Harris among hundreds paying last respects to King Ayatollah

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BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, September 22, 2020 (MMS-SKN) — Prime Minister Dr the Hon Timothy Harris was among hundreds of relatives, friends and fans who attended a colourful funeral service held for the late Mr Dion Geron Stevens, affectionally known as King Ayatollah, at the Garden’s Playfield on Monday September 21.

Born in McKnight on February 27, 1967, the very day St. Kitts, Nevis and Anguilla (along with most of the other small Caribbean colonies) accepted the British offer of associated statehood, the colourful and decorated calypsonian died on August 26 this year after a prolonged illness.

Prime Minister Harris was accompanied at the funeral service by the Minister of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture, and Area Parliamentary Representative for St. Christopher Two, the Hon Jonel Powell, and they were later joined by the Minister of Minister of Tourism, Transport and Ports, the Hon Lindsay Grant.

Officiating at the ceremony was Reverend Ira Penny, while musical accompaniment was by the Grand Masters Band. In attendance was the cream of Federation’s top calypsonians, some of who did moving colourful musical tributes which moved the crowd that was in attendance.

A powerful and moving tribute was paid by Ms Shannon Hawley, chairperson of St. Kitts and Nevis National Carnival Committee. Other tributes were paid by former Minister and close friend of the late King Ayatollah, Mr Dwyer Astaphan, and former St. Kitts and Nevis Ambassador to the United Nations, Mr Sam Condor.

Another family friend, Mrs Elreter Simpson-Browne who is the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sustainable Development, who read the eulogy, revealed that Dion Geron Stevens – King Ayatollah – had in his final days converted into Christianity and had sung popular hymns from his hospital bed.

The memory of King Ayatollah will forever be cherished by among others, his father Mr Willis Daniel, step-father Mr Ashley Walters, grandmother Mrs Yvonne Lewis, sisters Ms Pamela ‘Babyloo’ West, Ms Jean ‘Laverne’ Claxton, and Ms Sherimah Stevens, and brothers Mr Alexis ‘Rambo’ Hazel, Mr Sean ‘I-Shondi’ Stevens, Mr Daren ‘Bogle’ Stevens, and Mr Alanzo ‘Nazie’ Walters.

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