Gleaner's Sandra Lawson remembered in song and tribute
The Fresh Bread Ministries International worship centre was filled with music, laughter, and fond memories as relatives, friends, and members of the RJRGLEANER family came together on Sunday for the thanksgiving service for Sandra Delria Lawson, former administrator at The Gleaner's Western Bureau in Montego Bay.
During the service, which was presided over by host pastor Bishop Philemon Samuels, tributes came in the form of songs, slide-show memories, and spoken memorials for Lawson, who passed away on December 4 at age 60, following a period of illness.
During her tribute, Cordella Lawson-Smart referenced artiste Tarrus Riley's She's Royal to describe her sister's majestic qualities.
"I never knew anyone so one of a kind. The way she moved to her own beat, she has the qualities of a queen," Lawson-Smart quoted the hit song to refer to her sister. "Our Sandra was truly of royal birth. If you're sitting here today, I'm sure that you have been on the receiving end of Sandra's royalty, her kindness, and her love," Lawson-Smart said.
"We enjoyed a happy childhood. Sandra was the pretty brown one, and the rest of us resembled her," she added, drawing chuckles from the congregation.
"We grew up in harmony. Yes, we had the occasional fight, but we were never jealous of each other. We celebrated each other."
Lawson was born on August 15, 1958, one of three children for parents Beresford and Ruby-May Lawson. A graduate of the Mt Alvernia High School in Montego Bay and a long-time member of the Fresh Bread Ministries congregation, she began her association with The Gleaner in 1990 as a secretary in the Western Bureau's editorial department.
She was later promoted to administrative assistant for the bureau in 1993, and in 2012, she was further promoted to branch administrator, a position she held until she left the company in 2016.
Sandra Cato, features writer at The Gleaner's Western Bureau, recounted how Lawson always required nothing less than the best from the bureau's employees.
"At the bureau, we remember Sandra (Lawson), the branch administrator, who ensured that as employees we gave our best and adhered to the standards of the company," said Cato. "She was never afraid to tell you when you were wrong even if you were a friend."