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Keith Bardowell to be remembered with service today

Published:Friday | October 31, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Alessandro Boyd, Gleaner Writer

A thanksgiving service for the late Keith Bardowell, a World War II veteran who gave valiant service to the Royal Air Force, is to be held today at the Garrison Church of Ascension at Up Park Camp. The service will begin at 1 p.m.

Bardowell, who was born in Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland, on January 8, 1929, passed away peacefully on Sunday, October 12.

His widow, Merline Bardowell, noted that he was a kind and hard-working individual who had a major impact on her life.

"We had a relationship for over 30 years. When I met him, I was a student at the university, and he really gave my career all the support. He never said no to anything I wanted to do, even when I said 'No', he encouraged me to do it," she told The Gleaner.

"He was very caring, affectionate and will forever be my friend, soulmate and the wind under my sails," she added.


After leaving the Royal Air Force, Bardowell continued his commitment to ex-service activities in Jamaica through the Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA), Jamaica 580 Branch.

By his efforts and example, he rose through various positions in the RAFA and Jamaica Legion, and served as life vice-president and chairman in the RAFA.

"To his colleagues, he was a very happy and humble person. Keith would tell you just what he felt if something wasn't right, and he was very outspoken. He was particularly concerned about the ex-servicemen - their well-being - and as a result of that, he devoted just about all his life caring for them," Merline continued.

"Keith was a very kind and stern person. He was a disciplinarian, but never needed to use a whip, because he gained the respect of others," she added.

He received several awards for his services to the community and especially to ex-servicemen.

His awards included the Order of Distinction (Officer Class), in recognition of service to ex-servicemen; and The Zodiac Sports & Cultural Organisation, Boston, USA, Award for Out-standing Community Service To Ex-Servicemen in Jamaica.