‘We couldn’t do it without him’
Clarendon College delays celebrating football titles until Peart’s funeral
Clarendon College daCosta Cup manager Richard Palmer said last Friday’s homegoing service for the team’s beloved assistant manager, Neville ‘Manny’ Peart, was the school’s celebration of its daCosta Cup and Olivier Shield wins.
Peart died in a motor vehicle crash along the P.J. Patterson Highway in St Catherine on December 1.
“No celebration was kept yet. Today is the celebration for the daCosta Cup and the Olivier Shield, so we deliberately held it [off] until today. Today is the celebration, so you saw us celebrating today because Neville affi deh yah wid wi when wi a celebrate. We couldn’t do it without him,’’ Palmer told The Gleaner on Friday following the funeral service at Stuart Hall at the Chapelton-based school.
Peart, a past student of Clarendon College, had been the team’s assistant manager since 1994.
Palmer, who is also a Clarendon College alumnus, described Peart as a good man with whom he shared a friendship since their schooldays.
“The team used [his death] as a motivation to get the trophy, but, after the trophy win, the reality is still there,” bemoaned Palmer, who cried openly during the team’s tribute.
Coach Lenworth Hyde described Peart as a “no-nonsense and dedicated man, [who] worked very hard and loved the players”.
“This occasion is befitting for his send-off. Everybody turned up and gave him a good farewell, so he’s deserving of everything that went on today. He’s a true soldier and dedicated person to his job,” said Hyde.
He further told The Gleaner that moving on without Peart will be a challenging task, but the team remains relentless in “turning out good football” in his honour.
Hyde added, too, that the development of young men was very important to Peart.
The Neville G.L. Peart Scholarship and an award were launched during the funeral service. The scholarship will be geared towards assisting a footballer with fees for Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate exams. The award will be granted to the most disciplined player.
Speaking of the scholarship, Hyde said, “That’s a great venture. It’s not only football, [it’s also about] education, and that’s what we stress with our players, so it’s good to see the scholarship come on board.”
Jamaica Football Federation President Michael Ricketts told The Gleaner that Peart had made significant contributions to football, “not just in Clarendon, and just from a school perspective, but even the social impact that his influence would have had on young players in schoolboy football.
“We really need some more persons that would have had the interest of young men at heart like Peart did, and his achievements over the years are immeasurable.”
Clarendon College Principal David Wilson said Peart was committed to the growth of the institution.
“It’s going to be a difficult road,” he said, looking ahead. “When you’ve had someone with you from 1994, who’s been integral in the general development of our young people, it’s not an easy walk-on-by. We will seek to continue some of the things he was doing, and see how best we can cope.”
Peart, 54, was eulogised as family-oriented and an exceptional father to his two sons, Nevone and Nahjay.
His fiancée, Annett Daley, said he also loved his two stepdaughters, Imani and Shereece, no less.
“This man was a gentle giant, and my daughters and my niece would tell you that, when they asked him to take them to the movies, it is ‘Yes.’ When they would want to get from school, they would not call me, because they say I would be late, but Neville is never late,’’ said Daley in her tribute.
Peart, who was a businessman, was also a renowned truck and trailer operator. Many people credited their driving skills to him, and members of the trucking fraternity in Clarendon paid homage at the funeral.
Noting that Peart was always a careful driver, Daley said, “Neville, driving, accident, we did not imagine that [those words] would be in the same sentence being the driver that he was.”
Elaine Peart Ormsby, Peart’s sister, rued not saying, ‘I love you’, during her last telephone conversation with him some three hours before the fatal crash.