SThere are three types of funerals – the first one is the funeral that touches your person – your parents, grandparents, your siblings, your spouse, your children, your family members.
The second type of funeral is the office funeral – one that involves your work mates, in the office, business associates, and the third type of funeral is society funeral – you may not even know the person, possibly never met him, but because of social standing, you have to attend.
But there are three forms of funerals – the first format is the traditional funeral that usually takes place in the countryside, where emphasis is on the funeral rites – most times the burial service is a private small issue; then we have the Christian funeral where the emphasis is equal – a serious burial service topped with a serious funeral rites – live band, chicken and chips and so on.
The third format of funerals is the state funeral – which His Excellency the President, Cabinet Ministers and all the who is who attend– after an over elaborate burial service, the funeral is literally over.
Finally there are three kinds of funerals – the very rich exclusive executive black suits funeral, with plenty of singing hymns and choirs, then the second form which is the average funeral we all know and finally the pauper’s funeral.
On 4th May 2019, my lord Mrs Justice Doris Bimpong Justice of the High Court received a writ of summons from Almighty God – requiring INSTANT obedience, and her funeral was set for Saturday 29th June 2019.
For me, I had to attend because I appeared before her several times in the courtroom, she was a Christian and surely, as a Justice of the High Court it was a funeral fit for Guinness Book of Records.
I thought the funeral will begin at 0800 hrs so I drove leisurely from my Kasoa residence only to reach the Ghana Police Church opposite Golden Tulip Hotel to see that the proceedings began at 0700 hrs.
The last time I entered the Police Church was in 2005 when as Deputy Minister of Interim I attended the Induction Service of the new IGP Mr Patrick Kwasi Acheampong. It was then an average routine church.
Reader, it has been completely transformed, thanks to architectural ingenuity. Upper terraces have been built at the right and left with the choir at the upper terrace far back. The church looks very executive.
I was amazed at what I saw – the entire northern wing using of the Church was occupied by Judges of the Superior Courts, each of them fully robed with gowns, bibs and wigs – reader it was an impressive scene.
I saw my good old friend, Justice of the Supreme Court, Mr Justice Manful Sal and several Justices of the Court of Appeal. I saw High Court Judges from all over the country, present, Kumasi, Takoradi, Cape Coast, Winneba, Koforidua – they were all there.
As a Christian and police (security) format, everything went with precision – tributes, hymns, bible reading, sermon, dead march in Saul – finish. No funny side issues so common at such events.
Conspicuously absent was the Chief Justice who I am sure is outside the country on official business, and I did not understand why there was no “Most Court” in her honour.
The planners of the funeral did not make room for the practicing lawyers – that is the Ghana Bar Association – so the few of us who came, in bibs looked almost out of context. Our President of the GBA was there, with his national Secretary all the way from Kumasi.
My Lord Justice Bimpong was born in 1968 educated in Aburi Girls Secondary School and graduated as a lawyer in 1993. She became a High Court Judge in 2011 and passed on into eternity after five decades on earth.
After the service, the casket was pushed into a long “Transition” hearse and driven off for a private burial.
The forecourt of the Ghana Police Church was rolled out with red carpet for the “final funeral rites”: The Ghana National Fire Service Band was on hand to play live music.
After sitting there a while, exchanging pleasantries with colleague mourners, other concerns took my concentration elsewhere.
Farewell, my lord, Mrs Justice Doris Bimpong. Requiescat In Peace.
By Nkrabeah Effah Dartey