D.K. lauded as trailblazer for Duncan family
Although few in number because of coronavirus gathering restrictions, mourners turned out on Sunday to pay tribute to Donald Keith Duncan at his official funeral inside the University Chapel in St Andrew.
Even as dark clouds hovered over the chapel and a heavy downpour pelted the Liguanea Plains in the late afternoon, the Duncans told of how the man universally called D.K. became a ray of sunshine in their lives.
Keith Duncan, who spoke on behalf of his siblings, said at the service that D.K. was a trailblazer for the family whose success inspired others.
Recalling a photo of his father graduating from McGill University in Canada that was positioned on a dresser, Keith said that it “became an example for everybody to strive for” – a high bar for the family.
“He prioritised education as a means for economic empowerment. He became an example for the entire Duncan clan, not only the siblings but the wider Duncan family,” Keith said.
“And they all took themselves on a path of excellence to live up to the high standards that my father had set for the family.”
Hugh Duncan, the youngest brother of D.K., testified to the leadership and inspirational qualities of the family man who helped his siblings study in Canada.
“Being the first child, he was tasked with forging the way forward for the siblings. He blazed an uncompromising and exemplary path over the many years with distinction and notable achievements,” Hugh said.
As the service progressed, musician Ernie Smith delivered several songs, while the Reverend Astor Carlyle served as the officiating minister.
Karl Samuda participated in the service on the behalf of the prime minister, while Fitz Jackson represented the leader of the Opposition.
D.K. Duncan, 80, died on September 17 at The University Hospital of the West Indies, where he had been admitted with COVID-19.
The former minister of mobilisation in the turbulent 1970s was a polarising figure in the Michael Manley administration – an era marked by divisive rhetoric between the forces of socialism and capitalism, and when political violence reached a crescendo.
Dr Khia Josina Duncan, one of D.K.’s children, was given high praises at the funeral for her effort in providing him with medical care.
“I want to acknowledge Josina for not being there with Daddy as he made his transition but being there every step of the way for the last couple of weeks along with my cousin, Michael Newton Duncan,” Keith stated.