Mon | Jan 18, 2021

Jamaica lost a community leader in Lloyd Hay

Published:Saturday | December 5, 2020 | 8:28 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam:

Please allow me to address a letter written by the People’s National Party (PNP) Secretariat, presumably honouring my father Lloyd Melendy Hay as a community builder.

Maas Lloyd, Sir Bram, a good father of seven and an acknowledged community leader, died at 91 years of age last Saturday, with his family beside him.

He was approached by the PNP to run in 1976 when the proposed candidate, Jack Stephenson, died in a car accident. My father lost his bid then and suffered serious damage to his business; his car was burnt and his party of choice gave no help or effective guidance to recover losses. He focussed on his resources to recover. He was approached to serve as campaign manager for Phyllis Mitchell, and this secured victory twice. This, largely due to his deep linkages across stakeholders, small business owners, church, police, farmers’ groups and schools.

My father was horribly beaten and left for dead in his home by robbers in 2008. I called the then Deputy General Secretary, Julian Robinson, as I headed to the Spanish Town Hospital at 4:30 a.m. When my father was checked out of the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) six weeks later, not one single member of the PNP had visited him, sent a card, sent flowers or even called me. I was a sitting member of parliament (MP) for the PNP at that time.

Hon Bruce Golding, then prime minister, called me at 5:10 p.m. on the evening of the assault, via RJR 5 p.m. news. He apologised saying he had been in Cabinet and wasn’t aware of this assault on my father and had only just heard it on the news. He questioned me as I sat outside Spanish Town Hospital Accident and Emergency with my brother, awaiting updates. Once he ascertained what was his condition and the status of police investigations, he advised me not to worry. He observed, “This can’t be handled as you have told me.” Once he had hung up, immediately I got a slew of calls from the director of emergency medical services, Ministry of Health and the Police High Command. Up to that time, I had no calls from the PNP leadership.

Fast-forward to 2011. I crossed the floor. My father followed me to a meeting being hosted on Nomination Day by Robert Montague in Dressikie, St Mary, hometown of the Stanfords, his mother’s family. Bobby then insisted that he be acknowledged and be placed on the stage, even though he was not a Labourite, and he said as much when he asked for him to be escorted on stage. That’s the kind of respect for the man Lloyd Hay, PNP should honour.

My father’s footprint has been large across St Mary, St Ann and St Catherine. I bless the honour of being Lloyd Hay’s daughter.

The PNP, in placing this acknowledgement and addressing him as Comrade, or the general secretary. Further, they have inadequate research and have also made factual errors.

Jamaica has lost a giant of a community leader and stalwart. I have lost my dad – my world. Rest In Peace, Pops.

SHARON HAY WEBSTER

Proud child of Lloyd Hay