BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (Monday 13th November 2023)- 82-year-old Stanley Franks Jr. MBE,MH,JP was laid to rest at the Springfield Cemetery in Basseterre following a funeral service -featuring a host of glowing tributes- held at the Wesley Methodist Church in Basseterre on Monday 8th November 2023.
“If anyone was born in the bosom of Labour, it was Stanley. As a child, he was there in the front seat of the struggle to establish the rights and dignity of the masses. There is a picture of the first Labour Day March through the streets of Basseterre with the then leaders of the Party, including Sir Robert Bradshaw, Sir C A Paul Southwell, Sir Joseph Nathaniel France and Thomas Manchester leading the march, and there is Stanley, a precocious child of seven or eight, right at the front of the march with them. Even at that age, Stanley had to be in everything.”
This was what his brother Sam Franks said while delivering the eulogy (formal remembrance) during the service.
According to him: “Our Grandfather, Poppa, was a cooper – a master craftsman who made and repaired wooden barrels, buckets and casks, then used to store and ship muscovado sugar as well as rum, wine, pickled meats etc. This was before the advent of plastics so he did a respectable trade among the residents of Prickly Pear Alley and its environs, making and repairing leak-proof buckets, tubs etc. out of wood and without glue. Poppa’s skills and attention to details were neither lost on our father nor to Stanley, both of whom established themselves in their chosen profession as master craftsmen. Poppa was also involved in easing the plight of Kittitians at that time, the drudgery of life and the conditions of work. In fact, Poppa was one of the twelve persons who gave birth to the St.Kitts Nevis & Anguilla Workers League, later the St. Kitts Nevis Trades & Labour Union which spawned the Labour Party. The motto that was adopted and espoused by the Workers League and remains even today is: “For the good that we can do”.
“Few have championed this anthem that our Grandfather helped to coin, as Stanley has done,” he added.
In sharing details about Stanley’s early life, Sam Franks highlighted: “Stanley Reginald Franks, he loved to be called Stanley Franks Jnr., was born to Wentworth Stanley Franks and Mazie Benjamin on 1st May 1941 in Prickley Pear Alley. He was born in very humble and challenging circumstances and lived with his mother until she went to Curacao to make a better life and our grandfather, Poppa, took him to live with him and his wife. Until that time his mother was ‘living out’ as a servant (for that’s what it was) to a family residing at Fortlands.”
He added: “Stanley would recall that at Christmas, he and his friends would patrol Fortlands just to smell the ham that most residents there would boil and then bake on Christmas Eve. He considered himself privileged then, for he would get some of the ham skin that his mother brought home and then the soup she would make later with the ham bone.”
Among those who gave tributes-written and spoken collectively- were: The St.Kitts-Nevis Trades and Labour Union (SKNT&LU) of which Stanley Franks Jr. was an executive member having served as General Secretary and Treasurer during his tenure, the St.Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP), St.Kitts Football Association, Methodist Men’s Commission Choir, Nsima Udo (granddaughter), Verd Franks (brother), Methodist Circuit Choir, St.Kitts Cricket Association and Leeward Island Cricket Board.
Front Banner Image Member of the St.Kitts-Nevis Trades and Labour Union (SKNT&LU) Executive Committee (Right to left) Eva Henderson, President Sydney Bridgewater, General Secretary Precious Mills, Sean Kelly, Kevion Hodge Huggins along with Trustee Dr. Elizabeth Lawrence take a photo while at the Springfield Cemetery. (Spokesman Snap)
Photo: Funeral service flyer for the late 82-year-old Stanley Franks Jr. MBE,MH,JP
Photo: Carissa Franks-Benjamin, one of the daughters of the late 82-year-old Stanley Franks Jr. lays a wreath at the grave site on Wednesday 8th November 2023 at the Springfield Cemetery in Basseterre. Widow Blondell Franks can be seen on the left side (aback of Carissa Franks-Benjamin, her daughter) looking on. (Spokesman Snap)