Tue | Dec 12, 2017

Touching send-off for an 'orange' Green - Hundreds mourn former South East St Mary MP

Published:Sunday | September 3, 2017 | 12:00 AMErica Virtue
Comrades from St Mary making their presence known during the thanksgiving service for Dr Winston Green yesterday.

A capacity-filled St Andrew Parish Church in Half-Way Tree, with the crowd spilling into sections of the parking lot, the adjoining graveyard, and Hagley Park Road, yesterday said goodbye to Dr Winston Lloyd 'Owen' Green during a tribute-filled thanksgiving service.

Green, the former member of parliament (MP) for St Mary South East - who collapsed and died on August 14, was sent off with songs and words.

He was remembered by Opposition Leader and People's National Party (PNP) president Dr Peter Phillips as a genuine lover and servant of the people who was passionate about nation building.

Politicians from both sides of the fence heard Phillips remember Green - who was a two-time member of parliament - as someone not born to wealth but who believed in the development of his God-given talent through education.

"Even as we mourn we are comforted that his life represents the best of Jamaican society, the best of the People's National Party ... He had a passion for public service and he was everywhere in the constituency. He was never a tribalist and he served everyone," said Phillips.

"Jamaica bids farewell to a passionate nation builder, and his party has lost an esteemed Comrade who never failed to answer the call of the trumpet," added Phillips.

But it was the tribute from his nephew, Carlyle Burger, that set the church alight.

Playing the role of Green, Burger spoke in the first person, thanking individuals who played pivotal roles in his life, including his children, Winston Jr (Sean), Wade, Ashley and Leah.

According to Burger, Green's indoctrination in politics started at an early age under the influence of his sister Barbara 'Babsy', "who put on orange blinkers on Winston's face and he could see no other colour but orange, even though his name was Green".

Burger told the crowd that Babsy would drag her young brother to PNP meetings, and if he refused he would get a beating. It came to a choice of "beating or meeting", and Winston chose the latter.

Green, who studied in Cuba, was described as campaigning for the likes of the late Keeble Munn, and was a part of Colin Campbell's bid in St Andrew Eastern and later in Clarendon.

"To the people of South East St Mary, although we come to the end of my road, never let go ... you belong to me and I belong to you. Never let go. You have not just become my constituents, you have belong my family members. I gave you my heart.

"I love you, St Mary. I love you. And if we have to do it again, I would chose you, St Mary, St Mary," said Burger, as he again adopted the role of Green.

Member of Parliament Natalie Neita's vocal repertoire brought the house down and held the entire audience in rapt attention.

She expertly delivered a beautiful religious medley - a rendition which earned her much applause.

Green was buried at the Meadowrest Memorial Gardens.

erica.virtue@gleanerjm.com