Remembering Dudley Stokes
The Editor, Sir:
Sincerest condolences to the family and friends of the beloved Rev Dr Dudley C. Stokes who transitioned to higher existence on April 8. His 73-year sojourn on Earth brought numerous blessings to hundreds of thousands of Jamaicans, Turks and Caicos islanders, Americans and other world citizens, many of whom will miss him dearly as we mourn his passing.
Practically every sector of Jamaican society benefited from Dudley's multi-ministry existence, for which he was awarded the Order of Distinction in 2008, one of his many lifetime achievements certifying that he was larger than life.
Brainy, bold, big-hearted, born to lead, gifted with oratory and loyal to loved ones are few of the hundreds of positive words that immediately come to mind when reflecting on Dudley's life. Dr Stokes seemed always to have been my boss. I was his Bible and business teacher when he was headmaster of Cornwall College; his business teacher when he was director of Belair School; his correspondent and Western Bureau religion columnist when he was editor-in-chief of the Gleaner; and his assistant when he pastored the Fletcher's Grove Baptist Church in Sandy Bay, Hanover. Also, Captain Dudley Stokes was my superior as I worked up to lance corporal in the Jamaica Combined Cadet Force. We will never forget his helicopter rides from military camp straight to church to preach, being the dedicated servant that he was.
Dudley Stokes Sr showed the world what it means to love and to serve in the spirit of Christ. He had a wonderful sense of humour, a miraculous business touch, and an Einsteinian mind. It would take many books to catalogue the life and legacy of this great Jamaican, the Hon Dudley Stokes, the father of famed Jamaican bobsledders Chris and Dudley. Sleep on, my brother, my friend, and take your well-earned rest in Yeshua Messiah.
I am, etc.,
Rev Dr MERVIN STODDART