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'Maas Lyndon', the ultimate people person, laid to rest

Published:Wednesday | March 31, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Hundreds of family members, well-wishers, colleagues and friends - including Governor General Sir Patrick Allen and Lady Allen - gathered at the Northern Caribbean University's (NCU) main auditorium on Sunday, March 7, to pay tribute to the life and work of Lyndon Leslie Daley.

Daley succumbed to a long illness on February 5. He was 78.

'Maas Lyndon', as he was affectionately called, was born in the tranquil community of Barrett in southern Manchester to Wilfred and Elizabeth Daley on June 1, 1932. His life exemplified that of a faithful steward who fathered, schooled and gave employment to many.

One such beneficiary was Dr Herbert Thompson, president of NCU, who was adopted by Daley.

"Mr and Mrs Daley were parents when I needed parents," said Thompson. "I have no shame and reservation about the fact that they took me in when no one else would. I am still at a loss as to how someone not exposed to formal education could teach so many of us to care about others."

Thompson, a biochemist, has done extensive research and made several presentations on the treatment and management of diabetes mellitus because he was inspired by Daley's own brave struggle with the disease for 40 years.

A hero

Daley's eldest son, Everard, described him as a hero who was a diligent and productive worker.

"He made things happen. He was a trusted man. He was a people person, who found people who wanted to be progressive and gave them a push in life. He showed that people were more important than things."

President of the Cedar Gardens Neighbourhood Association, Homer Brodie, said Daley was a good man, who "would go the extra mile to assist people in the community. He would also always keep is word."

Despite the limitations of a third-grade education, Daley was relentless in pursuit of excellence. Known for his energy, charisma and kindness, the multitalented Daley excelled in various disciplines and always found a way to help someone in need. Having the Midas touch was a fitting description of his life's journey, but 'Maas Lyndon' was mindful to praise God for his achievements.

Of his many jobs, his blessings seemed to overflow during his years of service at West Indies College (now NCU), where he served for more than 40 years, 21 of which were in the bakery.

His first assignment was as a salesman, and he rapidly moved up the ranks to driver, and then manager. Records reveal that the bakery thrived significantly, and perhaps experienced some of its best days under his management.

He subsequently served in other positions at the university - purchasing manager and maintenance manager - before eventually retiring as transport manager in December 1997.

Derek Bignall, president of the West Indies Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, and Arlington Woodburn, president of the North-east Jamaica Field, and overseas-based pastor Kennroy Malcolm, delivered homilies at the service, as was requested by Daley.

Daley has left to mourn, wife, Daphne; children and foster children, Herbert, Everard, Doreen, Lebert, Leroy, Orley, Dilworth, Garth, Garnett and Noreen; sister, Pearl; brothers, Alfred and Donald; 18 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.