'Our father, Chester, was a symbol of love, strength and resilience'
If you had occasion to traverse the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, or nearly any upscale house in the upper stratum of this society indeed, any development in the inner cities of northern St Andrew, or even a family member's house, you would be walking on exquisite tiles laid professionally and proudly by our father, Granville 'Chester' Halliman.
Our father, a humble man in every way, was proud of his children and his work. He was a splendid tiler, and without a doubt, wherever we go memories of his work will forever stand out.
Not only was he great at laying tiles but he also taught the art to many.
We could always ask him about building and he could give us an estimate of some kind. Chester was very versatile.
Like each tile he laid, transforming an ordinary setting into a glorious place, so was time shared with our father. His laughter, his stories we will always embrace.
Chester was happy to witness his children passing the various educational milestones, each attending traditional high schools and colleges. He was able to enjoy the thrills of grand-fatherhood.
But, most important, as a man who was born, raised and lived in the inner city, he raised his children with the fear of God. He managed to instil decency and very high moral standards in their upbringing. Chester loved his children and he taught each of them how to live and to love, even when challenges arise.
For us, our father was a symbol of love, strength, resilience and wholeness, regardless of situations and circumstances. Even on one foot he would at times display more strength than a two-legged man. He fulfilled our expectations by simply rising above the limitations.
Our comfort on this day is to know that our beloved father displayed a peaceful countenance on his face. No more suffering, no more pain. We know he has gone on to a better place.