Tue | Aug 22, 2017

MoBay mourns 'Aunt Haze'

Published:Friday | December 30, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Hazel Dalley

Western Bureau:

'Mother' of the St James police, philanthropist, and businesswoman Hazel Dalley is dead.

The 89-year-old woman, affectionately known as 'Aunt Haze', died peacefully at her Sunset Boulevard home in Montego Bay, St James, yesterday.

Her niece, Lorna Cheong, said she went out like an angel after being ill for the last three months, showing signs of recuperating then deteriorating since last week.

Her death has been described as a deep loss by several members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), who had willingly accepted her as a member of their family.

 

CREAM OF THE CROP

 

The justice of the peace, who was bestowed membership in the Order of Distinction for her work in tourism, was tagged a comprehensive lover of every policeman or woman by Superintendent of Police Paul Stanton, who knew her for more than 20 years.

"It's a deep loss. She was the cream of the crop. When you talk about good corporate citizen, she epitomised that, and she boasted the highest level of integrity," said Stanton, adding that Dalley gave unconditionally, without expecting anything in return.

"People like her should be cloned as the world would be a better place."

His colleague, Assistant Superintendent Sharon Beeput, who is attached to the Montego Bay Freeport Station, said Dalley was the biggest advocate of the police and never allowed the men and women in uniform to call her 'Miss Dalley'.

Acknowledging that the former lay magistrate would be missed, Beeput said she would normally accommodate every new recruit that came to Montego Bay.

"They were all exposed to her, and her loyalty and dedication spread as far as the Bermuda Regiment, who she hosted every year for several years."

Highly recognised by other police and military organisations, Dalley was also honoured by the St James Police Civic Committee for her work in community development.

A member of that organisation, attorney-at-law Clayton Morgan, said she was second to none.

"All the young police who came to Montego Bay had to get to know her. If they needed anything, financially or otherwise, she was there for them."

Stanton concurred, stating that throughout the length and breadth of Jamaica, she touched the entire police force as those who never experienced her touch personally, felt it through others.

Reminiscing, he said that he met Dalley as a young constable while on beat duty on Gloucester Avenue in Montego Bay 20 years ago after she called him and offered him a drink of water.

"Those days I never accepted anything from anyone, so I refused, and she was vexed."

He said that he was taken aside by a police sergeant, who warned him that he had committed a cardinal sin by not accepting.

"He said, 'If you just finished drinking all the water from the Mona Reservoir, and she offers you water, find space to drink it'."

The relationship they had over the years makes him proud to call her mother.

Dalley operated Dalley's Variety Store on Gloucester Avenue for more than 50 years.

janet.silvera@gleanerjm.com