Bahá'ís thank the late Sir Howard
THE EDITOR, Sir:
The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Jamaica and the entire Bahá'í community of this island and the Cayman Islands join in expressing condolences on the passing of Sir Howard Cooke, a humble, astute, wise, kind, loving gentleman who was a friend to all.
The former governor general sought to live a God-fearing life. In so doing, he embraced the adherents of the different religions that share these islands. Shortly after his 1991 installation as governor general, he started hosting weekly meetings at King's House with representatives of the Jewish, Christian, Hindu, Muslim and Bahá'í communities to discuss how religion could influence the economic, political and social development of our country.
He was also concerned about the decline in quality parenting, the lack of love and unity in our relations with each other, and in the adoption of uplifting values among our people.
It was because of his influence that these religious communities joined together to develop a centre of excellence in the Nannyville Gardens community, where children are fostered in a creche and in a homework centre, meetings are held with parents to discuss how they can improve relations with their children, and consultation is had with the representatives of both major political parties to discuss the development of the community. It is appropriately named the Sir Howard Cooke Centre for Character Development.
SOURCE OF INSPIRATION
Despite his ageing years, Sir Howard attended a number of community meetings at this centre and was a source of inspiration for the organising committee and for the members of the community. The Bahá'í community is happy that its members were integral to the development of this Centre.
The Bahá'í community is grateful that because of his openness and his love, Sir Howard embraced discussions with Bahá'ís, visited our centre on a number of occasions, and in 2003 proclaimed July 25 as National Bahá'í Day. This was done in a proclamation published in the press in recognition of the 60th anniversary celebration of the establishment of the faith in Jamaica. We continue to observe this day annually.
Sir Howard was a special person. The manner in which he served this country was exemplary. May his beautiful soul rest in peace.
Secretary, National Spiritual
Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Jamaica