Finance minister remembers late bodyguard
Sergeant Marlon Smith, former close protection officer for Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke, was laid to rest yesterday.
There were many glowing tributes for the former cop at the service of thanksgiving which saw family, friends, colleagues and well-wishers turn out on Thursday at the Church of the Open Bible at Twickenham Park, St Catherine, to say farewell. Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who gave his tribute via Zoom, said he knew Smith for years and admired his dedication to his work.
"He was a high achiever who received 16 commendation for his services, was easy to get along with, but was a true professional that will be sadly missed," Holness said.
In his tribute, Clarke described Smith as the consummate professional who was very kind.
"I can safely say that Marlon's last act of kindness occurred the day he died (June 24). He drove with us to Ocho Rios and he bought ackee, saltfish and roasted breadfruit. He said 'Minister take this as you haven't eaten anything since morning'," Clarke said. Smith died tragically while leading a convoy in Trelawny when the vehicle he was driving ran off the road. Clarke said Smith was a tutor and friend and that he was shaken by his tragic and untimely passing. Commissioner of Police Antony Anderson said that he is pleased with the service given by the late sergeant.
"I went into his community and it was clear that he was a family man that served the Jamaica Constabulary Force very well. I want to express my condolences to his family and thank them for lending him to us," Anderson said. The highlight of the service was when Smith's widow requested to do an item and gave a mellifluous rendition of You Raise Me Up, which resulted in resounding applause.
"We have lost a member who exhibited all the attributes that made him the exemplary personnel that he was. He has left a very hard void to be filled," Jamaica Police Federation Chairman Corporal Rohan James said. Smith was eulogised by Senior Superintendent of Police Michael Morris as being a very hard-working and dedicated member of the force, who achieved glowing success in his 24 years in the organisation. He was subsequently interred at the family plot in Brown's Hall district, St Catherine.