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Raw dirt for Prince Buster's grave

Prince Buster's final resting place will be just raw dirt. There is no concrete walls and now fancy paintings on the grave of the late Ska legend.

Instead, when the body of the 78 year-old Buster is buried in the May Pen Cemetery today, it will be a literal 'dust to dust' affair.

Prince Buster, whose given name is Cecil Bustamante Campbell, was a devoted Muslim. Islamic traditions prohibit the erection of large monuments on graves or for grave to be decorated in an elaborate way.

As Jamaica says goodbye to Prince Buster, a special tribute will be held at the Institute of Jamaica, stating at 4:00 p.m. His funeral service takes place at 2:00 p.m.

Prince Buster's grave has been dug in the front row of the cemetery, thus placing him a few metres from the main thoroughfare of Spanish Town Road. It is also within touching distance of the final resting place of Skatalites bass player Lloyd Brevett,who died in 2012.

And although there has not been much fanfare surrounding the final rites for Prince Buster, the Ska legend's contribution is expected to be kept alive in many forms, including a massive portrait that is to be placed on a wall across from his grave.

Michael Robinson, the man who has been commissioned to do the Prince Buster painting, said he is honoured to be called upon to help preserve the memories of the legend.

"He played a great role in the society, and I have a great role to play as the painter," Robinson sai

He feels that he has been chosen because of his track record of doing good portraits and burials, pointing, for example, at some of the existing paintings in Trench Town and the wall of honour near the National Stadium.

Barrington Facey, a member of the community, said that Buster's painting will further enhance the area as a tourism destination. Already, there is a wall with the images of Skatalites, there are images of reggae legends as well as that of renowned producer Clement 'Coxsone' Dodd.

And situated a few chains away is Culture Yard, in Trench Town, the place from which Bob Marley and many other legends sprung.

"We would like to put more things to beautify the community and to let people see how much this area has given to Jamaica," Facey said.

He said that it was only on Thursday that a group of tourists stopped along Spanish Town Road to take photos of the portraits.

Facey said that Buster being buried in May Pen Cemetery is yet another chapter of a great book as he will be joining many heroes whose remains have been interred there.

"This is great for the area," Facey said, noting that it was always Buster's wish to be laid to rest in May Pen Cemetery.

"It is a great day knowing that we are going to be having another musical icon buried here. The only things about it is that there is not going to be a sepulchre where people can drive by and say 'there goes Prince Buster's grave'," Facey said.

by Daraine Luton - Jamaica Star

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