By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Senior Reporter
AFTER calling for an inquiry into the burial of 55 Hurricane Dorian victims over the weekend, Central and South Abaco MP James Albury says the Disaster Recovery Authority’s press conference on Sunday provided helpful information to Abaco families.
It is not clear if he is still pursuing an official inquiry into the matter.
Mr Albury, responding on Monday to a question from this newspaper about the press conference, said: “The purpose of my letter was to express the concerns of some of my constituents. I believe the DRA’s press conference helped shed light on the process and provided further information that Abaco families have been seeking. At this time I don’t have any further comment.”
Mr Albury is parliamentary secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister in Abaco. Friday’s ecumenical service was marred with controversy as some residents protested the event and were angered that due to social distancing guidelines, many who lost loved ones could not grieve properly. Some also claimed there was not enough communication from authorities ahead of time.
After Mr Albury called for an official inquiry into the matter, Opposition Leader Philip “Brave” Davis said he should resign as parliamentary secretary.
Mr Albury attended Friday’s controversial ecumenical service.
However, he wrote in a letter to Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis on Saturday: “As you are aware, on Friday, May 22, the bodies of 55 victims of Hurricane Dorian were laid to rest at the Central Pines Public Cemetery. Though some in Abaco feel a sense of relief and closure that the victims’ bodies have now been laid to rest, as we approach another hurricane season, there are many who will remain unsure of the location and fate of their loved one(s).
“Sir, I would be remiss if I did not request that a formal inquiry into this eight to nine month process and the timelines of this procedure be looked into by the appropriate agencies. I feel a review of this is not only imperative for the families of Abaco, but also for the proper handling of any further mass casualty events––God forbid.
“I believe your assistance with this may help in bringing answers and further closure to the people of Abaco. Please know that I am appreciative of the ongoing efforts made by the Disaster Reconstruction Authority as they carry out their mandate, and this letter does not seek to reflect poorly on them, but to request clarity on the matter at hand.”