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Prime MInister Dr Keith Rowley (front) releases a white dove at the gravesite of his eldest brother following yesterday’s funeral service.

CAMILLE MCEACHNIE

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley faced the harsh reality mourners now face as only five persons could attend his eldest brother’s funeral on April 2, to prevent the spread of the COVID -19 virus.

Dr Rowley’s eldest brother Mathias Joseph, 81, died at the Scarborough General Hospital on March 27.

The funeral of the father of five children and five grandchildren took place at the St Peter’s Anglican Church at 10 am yesterday.

He was buried at the Anglican Cemetery in Mason Hall soon after.

On March 21, the Government began introducing restrictions on public gatherings. Groups were eventually reduced from ten to five.

Globally, more than 1 million people have contracted the virus and Governments have implemented measures to reduce its spread.

On March 28, Dr Rowley noted that he too was suffering emotionally.

On his Facebook page, he posted:

“Mathias was our “big brother“ who never forgot who he was for us. Our only regret is that in these times we will not be able to gather to celebrate a life of love and caring. Be careful out there. Hard as it is, please do not congregate. Remember to Separate-Isolate-Quarantine (SIQ).”

The day before the funeral, April 1, he also posted: “I’m really experiencing what many people are experiencing. I’m trying to figure out how does one conduct a parting with five people in a very large family.”