Councillor Owen Palmer funeral was huge

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There was a sea of green and black as hundreds of well wishers, friends, family and members of the political directorate for the funeral service of late councillor Owen Palmer this morning at the Worship Centre, Old Harbour Road. 


During his tribute, former Prime Minister of Jamaica, Bruce Golding praised the late Palmer as a leader who led "from the front...and pointed people of his division in the way they should go". 


He reminisced about his days as an MP circa 1983 where he first met the young, energetic Palmer who he praised because he always stood out because he was "articulate and argumentative", a natural born leader and a person others looked to for leadership and direction. He urged the gathering to continue to rally around the Palmer family during their time of bereavement. 


"The family will need need the support in the weeks and months to come, they will not overcome their grief after we have left Meadowrest, Owen deserves that, we owe it to Owen," Golding said. 


The sense of loss was palpable throughout the ceremony with many sporting flashy green suits, green ties, green shirts, green dresses and blouses to show support for the Jamaica Labour Party. Dancehall artiste Chris Howell had tongues wagging with a dapper green suit that drew compliments from females. But for all the green on show, it was a sombre affair as droves of people came to show their respect for 'Jiggy', a charismatic, warm-hearted man who touched countless lives. 


Bartender Kerry Ann Smith was particularly grief-stricken as she said the accident claimed her daughter's godfather, as well as a cousin, Gideon 'Jimmy' Thompson.


"Owen was my daughter, Akeida Hammond's  godfather and her cousin, Jimmy, died in the same accident so it is a double loss, and a very difficult time for me," Ms. Smith said.


During the eulogy, Senator Kerensia Morrison urged the congregation to "get back to the basics of life" and to renew and maintain bonds with friends and family. 


"Don't scatter roses, call your friend, call your family, use every opportunity to spend time with your loved ones," she intoned with great passion.


Senator Morrison shared an anecdote of how two angry men had come to the councillor's office one day, but as unflappable as ever, Palmer, despite her warnings that the men were enraged, claimed "ah so dem gwaan all the time, ah miss dem miss me". Much laughter greeted this remark. 


"When they returned, Palmer immediately said 'it come in like oonu ear mi a call oonu name', and within a few minutes, they were all friends and I had to wonder if ah dem same one did say 'dem done with politics!' a few hours before. Owen loved his people, and people loved him," she said to hearty applause from the congregation. 


Hundreds of persons stood outside in the shade of trees because the church was full to capacity. Prime Minister Andrew Holness paid tribute to the late councillor as well.  Minister of Agriculture Audley Shaw, Minister of Health Christopher Tufton, Dr. Andrew Wheatley, Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Desmond Mckenzie, Minister of Local Government and Community Development, and Alando Terrelonge, junior minister in Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports were also present.  Dennis Robotham, president of the St Catherine Chamber of Commerce, was also in attendance. 


Roberts Funeral Home and Services Ltd. did a wonderful job with the arrangements of the funeral service. 

Read 1467 times Last modified on Last modified on April 09 2018

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