During a formal memorial service held on Oct. 22 at Patrick J. Bethel High School, Mr. Colon Curry a longtime staff member of the school was recognized by officials of the Department of Education and by the school’s faculty.
As the entire student body sat assembled on the school grounds to hear Mr. Curry’s eulogy, the family members, special guests and administration made their entrance preceded by seven Defence Force Rangers in uniforms holding a photo of the deceased that was then placed in front of a stage decorated in purple and black.
The service was moderated by Head Girl Maliyah Forbes, but many faculty members and students participated in the service. Mrs. Agatha Simms sang “Heavens Jubilee”; there was a Scripture reading by student Joshua Grant; liturgical dancing by Nyshante Johnson to the music of “Don’t Cry for Me”; poem recitation by Alyssa Sineus; musical pieces performed by the PJB school band; selections by the Teachers’ School Choir; and lastly, tributes by Principal Ricardo Ferguson and by Teacher Jamal McIntosh.
“A mentor, a friend to many… a huge loss for us,” said Principal Ferguson as he pondered on the mystery of life and death that God has chosen to keep a mystery. “But as children of the Most High, we can express our sorrow by weeping.
“I thank God for having had the privilege of knowing this brother,” he expressed with emotion.
The sadness of McIntosh, who had a close relationship with Mr. Curry while involved in leading the school’s Junkanoo group, could be felt as he first took the microphone.
“It is hard for me to stand here…,” he began. “I have known Mr. Curry all my life.”
He then reminisced on the time they became friends as Mr. Curry, leader of the Spring City Junkanoo group, always offered to help when asked for advice and pasting costumes.
That he was always dependable and always had the school at heart even as he became ill was the consensus of all the people who knew him.
The guest speaker was Reverend Paulette Cartwright, rector of St. John the Baptist Anglican Church. She chose to send a positive message to the assembly, explaining that while she was getting ready for the event, the Holy Spirit sent her a message “to tell all of you that Mr. Curry would not want you to be sad.”
She said that those who knew him were privileged to share a part of Mr. Curry’s life story, his caring for others, and his passion for Junkanoo. Part one of his book has been closed; part two is now opened, but we are not part of it, she added.
Explaining that death is the doorway for the continuation of our life – a journey that we must take alone – she said, but that is part of the master plan.
She told the assembly: “The time has come to let Mr. Curry go, but to hang on to the things he left that impacted your life. Use his legacy as you live your own story,”
Rev. Cartwright ended her address with prayers for comfort.