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The Voice

'Bubba's' funeral closes shutters early in Sp Town and Tanya Ellis
published: Tuesday | August 10, 2004

By Glenroy Sinclair, Gleaner Reporters


Members of the security forces on patrol in Spanish Town, St. Catherine, yesterday ahead of the funeral service for former 'One Order' gang leader, Oliver 'Bubba' Smith, who was shot and killed in St. Andrew. He was buried yesterday. - NORMAN GRINDLEY/Staff Photographer

MEMBERS OF the business community in Spanish Town, St. Catherine, drew down their shutters early yesterday afternoon, as shoppers stayed away due to the burial of Oliver 'Bubba' Smith, the reputed leader of the 'One Order' gang, who was shot and killed last month on Festival Road, off Whitehall Avenue, St. Andrew. His body was interred at the Dovecot Memorial Park, St. Catherine.

Heavily armed members of the security forces were strategically deployed in the adjoining communities predominantly under One Order's control. The lawmen were prepared for any eventualities, following reports last week that persons had ordered businesses to be closed yesterday as a mark of respect for the slain don.

Under the watchful eyes of veteran crime-fighters Assistant Commissioner George Williams and Senior Superintendents Hector 'Bingi' White and Donald Pusey, soldiers and police took up positions aloft the high-rise buildings in Tawes Pen.

While several units were parked on Wellington Street, across from the Tawes Pen housing scheme, pockets of police personnel were also seen around the market area of Cummberland Avenue.

GREEN AND BLACK FLAGS

But as the emptiness of the Spanish Town Market echoed the death of Bubba, green and black flags danced in the breeze. One Order graffiti dominated the walls of the building in which Smith had lived.

Rudolph Green, president of the Spanish Town Chamber of Commerce, told The Gleaner, "This issue of the burial has not upset the usual business practice in the Spanish Town area". He added that there was significantly less commercial activity in the town, but attributed this to the absence of commuters and not because of widespread fear.

One elderly vendor who sells ground provisions in the market said that "I have been there too long to let something as unimportant as this event disrupt her life."

According to one store owner, it has never been so easy to waltz along Cumberland Road, Old Market Street and Young Street, usually the more cramped areas of the town. It would have been easy to compare it to a ghost town, except that some business owners decided they had to maintain regular opening hours to facilitate their customers.

One worker, employed to a cosmetics store on Cumberland Road told The Gleaner, "Customers come first and they, therefore, had to stand firm as soldiers."

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