RADIATING WITH a beautiful smile, 91-year-old Marion Louise Dahl-Miller, declared, "This is excellent. I enjoyed every minute of it. When I think of my boy, I am so proud of my first child, the first of my seven children. My only regret is that his dad (Percy) wasn't here to see this."
Surveying the packed ballroom inside The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, New Kingston, last Wednesday, the overjoyed, emotional mother beamed with pride at the excellent, amazing event being held in honour of her son who has left an indelible mark on Jamaica.
The occasion was the four-hour emotional, yet entertaining appreciation luncheon for Professor the Honourable Errol Miller, OJ, CD, former chairman of the Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ), in honour of his 12-year role in establishing the well-touted, transparent, independent electoral system.
Dignitaries, politicians, family members, friends and ECJ current and former staff members paid tribute in one form or another to a giant of a man they hailed as patriotic, compassionate, loyal, astute, inimitable, full of integrity, impartial, committed, inspiring, fearless, a guiding compass, visionary leader, charismatic, brilliant educator, walking encyclopaedia, friend, mentor, soldier - a class act.
Dr Herbert Thompson shared that, during Miller's 12 years of sterling leadership, he never showed any political partisan preference.
Opposition leader Andrew Holness said Miller always said he knew he was doing a good job when both the People's National Party and the Jamaica Labour Party were angry at him, while Phillip Paulwell, minister of science, technology, energy and mining, noted that Miller has left a great legacy.
"I am overwhelmed and humbled by the turnout and this tribute," a towering 72-year-old Miller shared at the end of the tributes.
Declaring himself a proud Jamaican with attitude who will forever be loyal to his country and fight for its betterment, Miller said it has always been his fervent belief that, too often, "we exaggerate our problems, while at the same time we underestimate the good people of this country."
Miller joined the Electoral Advisory Committee as chairman in December 2000 and became the first chairman of the ECJ in December 2006 when the electoral committee was transformed into a commission. Under his tenure, the Electronic Voter Identification and Ballot Issuing System was established, as well as the Election Centre.
Under his leadership, the ECJ made significant strides, which attracted plaudits for Jamaica's electoral system, now regarded as one of the best in the world.
Miller retired on December 31, 2012.
Married to Sharon, he is father of two grown sons, Garth and Yekengale and a young daughter, Catherine.