Harvey pictured Church as powerful force for unity
Veteran photojournalist Errol Harvey was yesterday hailed as a family man, professional and a lover of God who always wanted to see greater collaboration between churches to arrest Jamaica’s wave of crime and social disorder.
“We have reached a stage now where nothing is sacrosanct or holy. Life means nothing … . We are concerned with where Jamaica has reached, and even more concerned that stakeholders seem not to be as concerned as they ought to be. I would suggest that I blame even the church first,” said the Reverend Fr Franklyn Jackson in his sermon during the funeral at the Church of St Margaret on Old Hope Road in Kingston.
He said that the Church was among the most divisive forces in Jamaica, noting that even though there were now more than 600 Christian denominations in the island, the island’s murder rate has skyrocketed despite widespread religious influence.
“I want to invite you to a place where Errol and I were – to talk about and to be concerned about the divisive nature of our nation … . Let us get to that place where Errol Harvey in his lifetime was concerned that we, as churches, need to do far more to unite Jamaica,” said Jackson, adding that nothing was as dear to Harvey as his children.
“When he spoke of his children, his grandchildren and his relatives, there was that connect that you were not going to miss because he was proud,” said Jackson.
“He would recite to me the different ways in which you (children) had excelled, and I would say to him, ‘Well, chip nuh fly far from block.’ And he would respond: ‘Is the mother, you know, is the mother,’” said Jackson, to a rare bout of laughter from the otherwise mournful congregation.
Harvey, 85, passed away on Sunday, May 26 while awaiting a flight from Florida to return to Jamaica. He had reportedly gone to the US to visit family.
Relatives described Harvey as an icon, interwoven in his community and in the journalism and photography landscape. Most of all, they said, he loved his family endlessly.
“Errol was committed to family, extended family, friends and individuals who needed guidance and love. He was a father and grandfather to more than his own, and as a result, his home became a home to many,” said his daughter, Katherine, flanked at the podium by her sister, Nancy, as they read their father’s remembrance.
“Errol dedicated his life to volunteering, helping the less fortunate, and assisting each one with their specific needs, be it financial, spiritual or just lending a listening ear. He was a pillar of strength to all who knew him,” she said.
Errol Harvey Jr, who read the first lesson, also praised his father as a family man.
Errol Egbert George Harvey was a 30-year stalwart of the Jamaica Information Service who retired as chief photographer in 1994. A Press Association of Jamaica annual photography award memorialises his service.