Royal burial rites for the late prominent trauma surgeon Dr J F Otchere-Darko fixed for 3 July

A prominent chief of the New Juaben Traditional Area, Barima Okyere Boateng (Dr Joseph F Y Boateng Otchere-Darko) is to be laid to rest next Saturday

Barima Okyere Boateng, the prominent chief of the New Juaben Traditional Area, is to be laid to rest on Saturday 3 July. This was announced in a news release issued by the New Juaben Traditional Council on Wednesday (23 June).

Known in private life as Dr Joseph Felix Yaw Boateng Otchere-Darko, a retired trauma surgeon and lecturer, Barima Okyere Boateng was enstooled the Mmrontuohene and Ayokohene of the New Juaben Traditional Area in 2005.

He died on 12 April 2021 at the University of Ghana Medical Centre, Legon, Accra, after suffering from a severe haemorrhagic stroke. He was 83 years old.

The main event, a burial service, will take place at the St George Catholic Cathedral, Koforidua, at 10am on Saturday 3 July 2021.

The royal burial will be led by the two Juaben Amanhene – Daasebre Otuo Siriboe II of Asante Juaben and his brother Daasebre Oti Boateng of New Juaben – under the auspices of the New Juaben Traditional Council.

All protocols

Many high-profile dignitaries are expected to attend. The New Juaben Traditional Council is therefore working with State Protocol, regional and municipal officials to ensure a solemn, smooth and disciplined occasion.

The New Juaben Omanhene, in whose lap the burial rites directly sit, is leaving no stone unturned to ensure a well-planned and dignified send-off for his uncle, the departed Mmrotuohene.

The Council is appealing to local people and all visitors to co-operate with officials to observe the strict protocol being put in place.

The organisers of the event have been having a series of meetings with Daasebre Oti Boateng and local officials, including the metropolitan chief executive, police chiefs and others, to ensure that the burial service and related events are observed not only with dignity but also in full compliance with the COVID-19 protocols.

The burial rites for the traditional ruler start on Thursday 1 July with the swearing of oaths ceremony to the departed Mmrotuohene by all the chiefs of the New Juaben Traditional Area. This, a highly restricted event, takes place in the late hours of Thursday at the Mmrotuohene’s palace.

Barima Okyere Boateng will be laid in state in the main hall, the magnificent Nana Ama Serwaa Hall in the Yiadom-Hwedie Ahenfie, the Omanhene’s palace, Koforidua, from Friday.

Filing past will be opened to the public from 3pm on Friday 2 July to 9am on Saturday 3 July. The people of Koforidua are advised to observe the filing past on Friday, leaving Saturday morning to the invited dignitaries.

All COVID-19 protocols will be strictly observed for the filing past and the two-hour burial service itself on Saturday, which takes place at the St George Catholic Cathedral, a short walk from the Omanhene’s palace.

International career

Barima Okyere Boateng was born in Koforidua on 8 June 1937 to Opanyin Kwame Okyere, a native of Baamang, near Bonwire, in the Ashanti Region, and Odehyie Akosua Dufie of the Juaben royal household.

He attended St Augustine’s College, Cape Coast, completing his GCE O’ levels in 1956 and his GCE A’ levels thereafter. He left Ghana in 1960 to study and practise medicine in Germany, where he qualified as a physician, dentist, general surgeon and trauma surgeon before relocating to Ghana in 1980.

He spent the rest of his career practising as a trauma surgeon and teaching medical students, first in Ghana and then from 1989 in South Africa, until he returned in 2006.

He left behind his wife, Mrs Felicia Otchere-Darko, a retired state attorney, and his eight children, namely Mrs Margaret Otchere-Darko Asiedu (retired careworker, UK), Mr Joseph Otchere-Darko Jnr (ex-banker, UK), Dr Paulina Kitcher deGraft-Johnson (psychiatrist and neurologist, US), Gabby Yaw Asare Otchere-Darko (solicitor, Ghana), Dr Leticia Otchere-Darko (anaesthesiologist, US), Miss Becky Otchere-Darko (intensive-care unit nurse, UK), Mrs Daisy Okyere (attorney, US) and Dr Josephine Otchere-Darko, (physician and public health specialist, South Africa).

He is also survived by 19 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

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