Thu | Jul 27, 2017

Renowned customs broker Ivanhoe Ricketts laid to rest

Published:Sunday | August 10, 2014 | 8:00 AM
Family members look on as pall-bearers carry the coffin containing the body of Ivanhoe Ricketts during his funeral at the St Matthew's Anglican Church in Kingston yesterday. - Jermaine Barnaby/Photographer

Andrew Harris, Gleaner Writer

Family members and friends yesterday said their last goodbyes to a man of many hats and a heart of integrity - the late Ivanhoe 'Honey' Ricketts, justice of the peace and managing director/customs broker of Ivanhoe Ricketts Ltd.

'Honey', the name given to Ricketts by Opposition Jamaica Labour Party Spokesman on National Security Derrick Smith when they met in the early 1960s, stuck with him until his last breath.

Smith described Ricketts as a self-driven man who always exceeded his ambitions and never stopped until he had accomplished all he had set out to.

Hard-working father

Honey was not only a humble man, but a hard-working father of 10 children and husband to wife Jacqueline.

He also leaves behind a stepdaughter and many grandchildren.

His children, family members and friends described him as a heroic father, a man of great leadership skills, a committed caregiver and devoted Jamaican who never stopped encouraging them.

As a lover of sports, he started out playing cricket, then moved to badminton, later becoming president of the Jamaica Badminton Association.

When he got too old for badminton, he turned to golf and, despite the challenges, excelled at all sporting activities of which he was a part.

Ricketts, 68, died on July 14, a day after the FIFA World Cup final which he was too ill to watch, leaving a legacy for his loved ones to uphold and the kindness with which he treated those he came in contact with to be passed on.

One of Ricketts' siblings, Frank, said the last happy moment he spent with his brother came during the World Cup and, being a fan of the hosts, Brazil, Honey carried them all the way until their point of exit in the semi-final.

Frank said he had to watch the final alone downstairs at Ivanhoe's house, while his brother remained upstairs trying to recover.

They had initially planned on watching the final together.

Unfortunately, Ivanhoe never recovered.

Yesterday, during the funeral at the St Matthew's Church in Allman Town, those who knew him best celebrated his life with tears and smiles.