BEHIND THE FLOWERS – Linstead family spends over $250K to decorate church for funeral

Carlton Hamilton was happy to again put his event planning skills to good use, albeit for a sad occasion – the funeral service for 27-year-old police officer Decardo Hylton who was shot dead on the job.

Carlton, an uncle-in-law of the deceased, was part of a four-member team that specially decorated the Bread of Life Ministries church in Linstead, St. Catherine, where the funeral service was held on Saturday, July 25.

He told The Beacon: “It was roughly over JA$250,000 we spent on just the decor for the church, which includes seven isles and two pedestrians.

“The roses that we used were from Miami and origin is Ecuador. A family friend flew to Miami just for this purpose – just to source the flowers into Kingston Friday morning (July 24) with a permit from the Minister of Agriculture in time for us to start the decor the Friday night. Other flowers were from Gorgeous here in Jamaica,” the uncle-in-law further said.

He stated that the decor especially in the rostrum area had a special meaning.

According to him, a garden setting was created because the mother of the deceased Janet Hamilton envisioned herself attending her son’s wedding – not his funeral. Only natural flowers were used for the garden setting, the uncle-in-law disclosed.

He added that a white satin backdrop was incorporated to represent a flowing stream, considering that the mother was ‘always mourning’ since Decardo died on June 12.

He recalled: “The night before the funeral service, when she (the mother) walked in and saw us preparing the church decor with a garden setting theme with a stream running through – which was the white satin backdrop, she was surprised and started crying.”

He further stated that, in relation to colours used in the decor, blue was highlighted because it was the slain officer’s favourite. “We had to highlight the blue – along with a dash of yellow, which depicts sunshine.”

The uncle-in-law told The Beacon that many people who attended the funeral have been lauding the government for the church decor. “It was not done by Government; it was done by the family. The government only took care of the funeral home,” he clarified.

Carlton, who also planned the repast, declared that the family wanted to give Constable Hylton a memorable send-off. “His parents wanted the best for him – and nothing but the best, which includes giving him the best send-off to his resting place,” he added.

Carlton, who hails from Linstead, stated that, although event planning is not his substantive job, he usually gets a lot of compliments whenever he plans funerals, weddings and other events. He does that mainly for his relatives and co-workers.

He said the other people who helped to arrange the church decor are the mother of the deceased, Churchill Hamilton who is the step-father of the slain cop, and family friend Ingrid Medwinter.

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