Ernest Samuel “The Unofficial Mayor of Antigua in Leicester” Gets a Patriotic Send Off

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room

Residents in Leicester England, came out in large numbers to pay their final respects to Ernest Samuel last Monday. This Antiguan and Barbudan national who hailed from the village of Swetes was well known and respected throughout the community.

Born on 3rd October 1937, the eldest of 9 children, Samuel migrated to Leicester in 1960 in search of better opportunities.

He held a variety of jobs including the construction of the M1 motorway. He finally settled into driving for the Leicester City Bus Company for over 20 years, until his early retirement in 1988, following an accident.

On his daily bus route, Samuel encountered many Antiguans and Barbudans and actively offered assistance to help fellow nationals navigate the relocation process and find jobs or affordable housing.

He was a “walking encyclopedia” about plantation life in Antigua and Barbuda during the “colonial days” and was extremely passionate when sharing these stories, as a way to promote the heritage of his beloved country. Ernest was passionate about his country and wanted to see better infrastructure, development and opportunities for the people. He travelled extensively throughout his retirement, but always included a yearly visit to Antigua to spend several months reconnecting with family and friends.

A horse drawn carriage with Samuel’s final remains and a double decker bus bearing his name and bus route #777 led the funeral procession last Monday, followed by a caravan of vehicles waving the national flag of Antigua and Barbuda.

The funeral service held at the Wesleyan Church in Leicester was punctuated with many vibrant cultural elements from Antigua and Barbuda to celebrate the life of this fallen patriot.

Ernest Samuel is mourned by Isabelle, his wife of 59 years, 5 children, 10 grandchildren, 6 great grandchildren, 3 siblings and 29 nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his brothers Hon. Charlesworth T. Samuel, Alburn and Caleb Samuel as well as sisters Glendora Peters and Velma Leadette.

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