One of the most powerful community-based organizations in the Linstead area of St. Catherine has paused to pay tribute to 50-year-old Wayne Stanbury, a businessman who was shot dead in a Kingston churchyard on February 16.
Up to the time of his death, the Linstead native was the proprietor of Berry-don Financial Services, which operates cambios and a Western Union outlet at 25A King Street in Linstead. He survived a gun attack in his hometown a few months before he was cut down.
The Linstead Community Development Committee (Linstead CDC), led by President Devon Smith, on February 20, did a floral tribute at Stanbury’s business-place.
About 20 members of the organization placed red roses into a vase placed in one corner of the outlet.
Smith, in an address to his colleagues and a few of Stanbury’s workers, said: “We just want to show our gratitude to Mr. Stanbury’s family, staff, the community and all the various persons who would have supported Mr. Stanbury and his business over the years.
“He was somebody who had contributed tremendously to the development of our community,” Smith added, while stating that hundreds of people could attest to the late businessman’s benevolence.
Following the floral tribute, members of the Linstead CDC walked through the town to their office near Linstead Police Station – a relatively short distance away from Stanbury’s business-place.
There, they observed a moment of silence and spoke glowingly of Stanbury’s contribution to the Linstead CDC and to the community.
Vice President of the Linstead CDC, Ruby Tenn, recalled speaking with Stanbury about four days before he was murdered, adding that she had contacted him about sponsoring a television set for a raffle put on by the CDC.
“He simply said to me ‘Mrs. Tenn, consider it done; just drop the [request] letter at the office’,” Tenn said while struggling to hold back tears.
She explained that she left the letter at Stanbury’s Linstead office on Thursday, February 13 – only to be shocked by the tragic news three days later.
Tenn also told the gathering that, when she was appointed a Justice of the Peace, Stanbury was the first person to offer her an office space from which to serve the people of Linstead.
“Mr. Stanbury is a friend of the CDC [and] a friend of mine. He is a kind person, loving, friendly; he never passed you on the road. If you don’t see him, he would touch you. If he is passing in his vehicle, he would wave to you,” added Tenn.
Meanwhile, Chairman of Projects at the Linstead CDC, Karen Johnson, said the death of Stanbury is a big loss to Linstead.
“He was a very wonderful, loving gentleman [and] very hugging. Everywhere he saw you he would hug you – the first thing,” she said.
Johnson added that, when she went to Linstead town a day after the killing, she was heartened to hear a group of people talk about Stanbury.
“As they spoke, I understood the magnitude of a man that Linstead has lost,” she said. “I would want to say to the family, our deepest condolences… We want to thank him for loving Linstead the way he did.”
Another person who spoke highly of Stanbury at the meeting was Janet Williams, Chairman of Welfare and Hospitality at the Linstead CDC.
She said she knew Stanbury for many years – even before he ventured into business.
“He was very loving [and] very kind. My neighbour, President of the Mickelton Heights Citizens Association; he was just about everything you could think of. In everything that is worthwhile, Mr. Stanbury has always been involved,” Williams said.
She continued: “They always said that good people never lost long, and we are proving it one more time. Good people never lost long.”
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