Wed | Nov 25, 2020

Hundreds attend tributes-filled farewell for Martin Henry

Published:Sunday | June 30, 2019 | 12:00 AM
Theo Henry, son of Martin Henry is consoled by his mother Jackie, during the funeral at the Kencot Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Damion Mitchell, Integration Editor

There were many tributes - 17 of them - and most would exceed the four-minute countdown mounted on a digital clock in an aisle of the Kencot Seventh-day Adventist Church in St Andrew on Sunday for the funeral of Gleaner columnist and university administrator Martin Henry.

Five of the tributes were musical.

Henry, who was 61, died suddenly on May 28, moments after appearing live on Television Jamaica to eulogise former Prime Minister Edward Seaga.

At the Kencot church, hundreds of mourners heard stories over and over about a man described as an intellect, a stickler for time and an advocate for justice and fairness.

But when his brother, Dr Eric Henry, took to the podium, he declared that he would not repeat what had already been said or what was likely to be said by others.

"Martin is dead!" Dr Henry shouted.

 

He then retold the story of his brother's birth.

"He came to us when his mother was 48 years old and his daddy was 56 years old. Many would say, 'a ole people pickney, what else him can do?' But from the day of his birth, he was mature," said Dr Henry, who was 21 years Martin's senior.

Dr Henry said Martin was an invaluable person on whom he could depend for advice and help in his academic pursuits.

Meanwhile, to celebrate Martin's contributions and service to education and public service, three initiatives were announced:

1. The family has established at the Jamaica Money Market Brokers, the Martin Henry Academic Scholarship Fund for needy students. The acccount number is: 1347319.
2. The National Integrity Action of which Henry was a director is in discussions with the Press Association of Jamaica to identify a way to acknowledge the upholding of good governance.
3. The University of Technology will establish the Martin Henry Award for best research.

 

He was the best dad

Theo and Lawrie, the children of Gleaner Columnist and university administrator Martin Henry, held rapt attention as they eulogised their father on Sunday.

And according to Lawrie, it was an easy task.

Five months before his passing, Henry had documented an autobiography and emailed them to be uploaded online for editing.

"It was now for us to decide what to leave out," Lawrie said.

She and her brother would recount the life of their father in the church, community, academia and importantly, family.

"He ensured that myself and my brother received a solid education. He taught us to think," said Lawrie.

The children would review the Henry era over the 61 years of his life.


"It was a life well lived, a life of meaning and purpose," said Theo.

 

He said his father loved research, and penned his findings in journals, papers and The Gleaner.

In fact, Henry was The Gleaner's longest serving columnist, writing for the newspaper for 31 years.

He was married to Jacqueline for 34 years.

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