A state funeral for the late Most Reverend Osmond Peter Martin was in Belmopan at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Co-Cathedral. As we said earlier in our newscast, hundreds of Belizeans from all walks of life came out to bid farewell to Bishop Martin. The eulogy was delivered by Meliton Auil.
“I have known Bishop Martin for almost 60 years. I first met him in 1948 when we were both teenagers and attending St.Johns College which at that time was located next to Holy Redeemer Cathedral in Belize City where the Facundo Castillo building is now located. Incidentally the diocesan building is the major project which Bishop Martin completed before his retirement in November of 2006. At St.John’s College Frank as we called him at that time excelled in football and was a star in the SJC football team. However his prowess in sport was not limited to football he was an all-rounder who was also very good in track and field. After graduating from St.John’s College Frank went on to study for their priesthood and was ordained a priest in April of 1959. I myself went away less than a year after his ordination and did not see him for about five years. In early 1964 shortly after the British Company Tate and Lyle had bought over the Corozal Sugar Factory I was transferred back to Belize by my employers Barclays Bank in order to open a branch of the bank in Corozal and lo and behold the priest in Charge of the St.Francis Xavier Church was none other than Father OP Martin. Having known him from High school days and he being the Parish Priest we got together from time to time and in time we became good friends. Years later after serving for a number of years as pastor of Sacred Heart Church in San Ignacio and during which time he began the construction of the present Sacred Heart College Father Martin was appointed pastor of St.Joseph Church which happened to be my Parish in Belize City.”
Bishop Martin died on February 16 at his home in Dangriga.