By anguillian September 19, 2016 11:49



A National Military-style Funeral, with all the trappings of pomp and ceremony, was accorded to the late Joseph Norris Payne, MBE, CPM, JP, on Friday, August 26, as a final honour to him.

The former highly-decorated Commissioner of the Royal Anguilla Police Force served in that capacity with distinction from the late 1970s to his retirement in 1990. He passed from this life on August 4, 2016, at the age of 81.

As a mark of respect, flags flew at half-mast on the day before, and on the day, of his funeral. For more than three hours, prior to the funeral, Mr. Payne’s casket, draped with the National Flag of Anguilla, laid in state in the hallway of Police Headquarters. There, two ceremonial armed policemen stood with bowed heads as members of the public paid their respects to him; and outside a firing party of police officers, designated to deliver a gun salute at the gravesite, began gathering with other official parties for the procession to St. Mary’s Anglican Church.

The impressive ceremonial procession included all ranks of the Royal Anguilla Police, the Police/Community Band, contingents from HM Prison, the Anguilla Fire and Rescue Service and the Immigration Department – as well as officials of Government, relatives of the late Commissioner and members of the public. The casket was carried on a specially-designed carriage.

The tributes in word, song and music – by individuals and groups – lasted three hours at St. Mary’s. Chief Minister, Mr. Victor Banks, said in part: “The late Mr. Payne will be most remembered and distinguished for his service to the Royal Anguilla Police Force which he joined in 1971. Like so many patriotic Anguillians, he came back to his homeland at a time when his skills were most needed having served as a ranking officer in other police establishments in the region [Antigua]. There was a time when revolutionary Anguilla was desirous of building a robust law and order organisation. Accordingly, his exceptional leadership skills were appropriately recognised and rewarded as he rose to the head of the constabulary in 1977 and served with distinction until his retirement in 1990.

“He was the longest serving head of the Royal Anguilla Police Force…It is indisputable that his contribution, particularly in the period following the Anguilla Revolution, led to the solid foundation which our constabulary enjoys today. Mr. Payne, by his general deportment, exuded a very commanding presence, and his unique leadership-style earned him the respect of his officers as well as the confidence of the wider community.”

The Chief Minister also noted that Mr. Payne served as Chairman of the Board of the former National Bank of Anguilla; as a member of the Choirs of St. Mary’s and St. Augustine’s Churches and, administratively, as a member of the Vestry (for many years) as well as Church Commissioner for Lands. Other church-related positions which Mr. Payne held included member of the Diocesan Council and a member of the Northern Regional Council, including being a member of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew’s. Mr. Payne received a number of accolades during his lifetime. In 2009 he was awarded the Anguilla Badge of Honour and the Queen’s Certificate for his outstanding contribution to law enforcement and social development, and was a recipient of the Police Colonial Medal and the MBE Award from Her Majesty the Queen among other awards.

Commissioner of Police, Mr. Paul Morrison, commended Mr. Payne for setting high standards of discipline in the Royal Anguilla Police Force as well as educational qualifications to enable members of the force to further their studies aboard. He also embarked on a special promotion plan for officers as part of his commitment to the development the police force.

The eulogy was read by Mr. Franklyn (Kelly) Richardson who, as an East End resident, was fully acquainted with the early life of Mr. Payne, who also grew up in that area.

The sermon was preached by the Rt. Reverend Errol Brooks. Mr. Payne was a regular worshipper. No just one who attended worship but did not participate. He was not a bench-warmer and “was not ashamed to get involved in wholesome activity.”

Commenting on Mr. Payne’s active participation in the church, including being a member of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew’s, Bishop Brooks said: “This is where my brother, Mr. Payne, stood up for me. I have a deep regard for persons who hold key positions in the community and who never forget their commitment to God, their neighbour and the church.” The Bishop was assisted during the service by Reverend Menes Hodge.

Mr. Payne’s body was transported to Sandy Hill Cemetery where the interment was conducted by Reverend Hodge. Prior to the burial, the Police Firing Party, under the command of Sergeant Brian Best, fired a gun salute of three rounds – and the National Flag, which covered the casket, was folded and presented to Mr. Payne’s sister, Mrs. Susan Harrigan. The presentation was made by Commissioner of Police, Mr. Paul Morrison.

By anguillian September 19, 2016 11:49


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