Wed | Dec 6, 2023

A force of nature died today – Shaw

NE Manchester mourns passing of community stalwart

Published:Wednesday | June 7, 2023 | 12:49 AMTamara Bailey/Gleaner Writer
Lennox ‘ Peter’ Powell.
Lennox ‘ Peter’ Powell.
From left:  Lennox Powell with Prime Minister Andrew Holness, Member of Parliament for Northeast Manchester Audley Shaw and his wife Sonia Powell at a function in the parish some years ago.
From left: Lennox Powell with Prime Minister Andrew Holness, Member of Parliament for Northeast Manchester Audley Shaw and his wife Sonia Powell at a function in the parish some years ago.

Member of Parliament for North East Manchester Audley Shaw joined with residents of the community of Christiana and its environs to mourn the passing of Lennox ‘Peter’ Powell, a man who many say dedicated his life to national development and unwavering service to the people.

Powell, who was widely known for ‘breaking news’ posts on his social media platforms, his resourcefulness, entrepreneurial and philanthropic efforts, served on numerous boards within the parish, including the Percy Junor Hospital, Rural Agricultural Development Authority and several institutions.

After battling several bouts of ill-health over a number of years, Powell passed away on Sunday night while in hospital.

“North East Manchester has suffered a massive loss. A force of nature died today. My friend, my right-hand man, even though he was born without hands, a businessman, a community warrior, our news station, our glue,” said Shaw, for whom Powell was an adviser for several years.

“He was so much to so many, but to me he has stood by my side for so many years and been such an incredible part of my team that it is hard to see what tomorrow looks like without him,” Shaw said.

The community stalwart, who was born without hands, was always hailed as one who did not allow his condition to define or limit him.

“In the pursuit of excellence, one man CAN make a difference. That man was Lennox Powell for North East Manchester. He was the NE Manchester JLP executive member and the public relations officer for JLP Area Council 3. [He was] very dedicated and very dependable. He will be sadly missed,” Shaw added.

Since his passing, scores of persons, including Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton, have taken to social media to hail Powell for his contribution to country and people.

“An exceptional nationalist, who contributed to the governance in public health. Thank you for your service”, the tweet read.

Councillor for the Craighead division Omar Miller, who worked with Powell on several boards, among other areas, said the gentle giant’s legacy will forever live on, but it will be near impossible to replace him.

“His contribution to society cannot be quantified; supporting schools, churches and communities. He has left a void that won’t be filled for many years to come. I called him Mr Universe, because of his networking locally and internationally … His service and love to people was priority. He is one that many would call upon and get a level of support from … He was a father to many and a friend to thousands … ” Miller expressed.

Church leaders from various denominations continue to sing Powell’s praises, noting that they, too, have witnessed firsthand the stellar man he was.

“He wasn’t a member of our church, but he was known by almost everyone because he was always present at funeral service and church functions to lend his support. When he may not be able to give, he creates opportunities for giving. He was an outstanding board member of our early-childhood institution … . The entire church is in mourning,” said Seventh-day Adventist pastor of the Christiana district of churches, Chavrone Clarke

Pastor of the Savoy New Testament Church, David Wright, who recently honoured Powell for his contribution to the church’s programmes during its Child Month service, said a great void has now been created.

“He is somebody you could call upon at any time and he is always there to assist. Nobody who knew him and came in contact with him will ever be the same after this. He was a blessing to many.”

Powell’s passing is being mourned by his wife of 23 years, five children, parents, and a host of relatives and friends.