Fri | Aug 18, 2017

Sir Howard made a little girl feel special

Published:Saturday | July 19, 2014 | 7:00 AM
Sir Howard Cooke plants a kiss on Kimberly Ebanks in this 2001 photo. - Contributed

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Many great leaders have left us and many more are yet to come. However, Sir Howard Cooke's indelible impression on the Jamaican populace will be lasting and will certainly remain with us for years to come. His are truly big shoes to fill.

I remember meeting Sir Howard in 2001 when I was crowned Mini Miss Jamaica. He welcomed me with open arms and a warm smile. As an enquiring young lady, I asked many questions and he responded very professionally. One of the questions I asked was, "What's the best part of your job?" He responded, with his affectionate smile: "To kiss pretty girls like you."

After entertaining a few more questions and having fruit punch, Sir Howard gave me another smile and whispered, "You are a wonderful girl." He went on, jokingly, to say, "If anyone asked you what is the relationship, tell them that you are my granddaughter." We said our farewells and he told me that I could come again soon.

My heart is saddened by Sir Howard's death as he left an impact in my life that is irreplaceable. He lived a long and truly rewarding life, which many have not had the opportunity to live. Jamaica has lost an amazing leader.

To his family and friends, I offer condolence. Keep your head up and stay strong. Remember, we love him, but God loves him best. He's now in the arms of an angel.

RIP, Sir Howard.

KIMBERLY EBANKS

Mini Miss Jamaica 2000-2001

donte_askel@yahoo.com