Murdered shopkeeper mulled baptism

The woman who was shot dead in the Linstead area of St Catherine on March 10, has been remembered for, among other things, her business acumen, her unconditional love for the daughter she had when she was 15 years old, and her plans to get baptized.

Verona Slack, also called Trudy, was gunned down by an unknown assailant about 9:30PM near her Victoria home in Linstead, after closing a shop she operated in another section of Linstead known as Bynloss. Her handbag was not found at the scene, sources said.

To pay their last respect to Slack, a relatively large number of people packed Linstead Seventh Day Adventist Church yesterday afternoon, April 28.

Trudy-Ann Trail, a cousin of the deceased, stated that the late Slack, 33, was raised in the Victoria area where she drew her last breath.

She grew up with her mother and two siblings. “Being the eldest, she usually cared for her siblings while her mom went to work,” Trail said, adding that Slack ‘enjoyed her childhood’.

She attended the Salvation Army Basic School, Victoria All Age School, and Ewarton High.

She dropped out of that high school after she became pregnant at age 15 with her only child, Ashanti Blackwood.

Slack went to a centre established for pregnant teens, and the centre placed her at Bog Walk High School (now Enid Bennett High). She spent six months at that institution.

“Her daughter was the centre of her world – her greatest achievement; a child that everyone is proud of and would be pleased to call their daughter,” added Trail, who is also a teacher at Charlemont High School in Linstead.

Slack’s daughter, Ashanti, attends Charlemont High, and is on the honour roll there. She is also heavily involved in the school’s Drama Society, and is a member of Jamaica’s winning chess team that competed at the CARIFTA Games in the Cayman Islands last week.

Trail, in the eulogy, noted: “As a single mother, she (Slack) ensured her child had it way more easier and comfortable… Not wanting her child to fall in the same fate as she did, she was very involved in her life and her school life.”

Slack raised her child as a single mother until she met her common-law-husband, Curtis Brown.

She, along with Brown, set up a small business establishment in Bynloss.

The remaining 15 years of Slack’s life were spent as a shopkeeper.

“[Slack] was hardworking, determined and ambitious. She always believed things would work out even if she was discouraged,” Trail told the congregation.

She explained that Slack would wake early each morning, and travel to her shop to serve especially the taxi operators and truck drivers who had become her regular customers.

Slack also travelled abroad. “[Slack] had returned from overseas a few months ago and was making other plans for her and her daughter’s life,” added Trail, who stated that her cousin was a church goer. “She was attending church and was making plans to get baptized.”

ALSO READ: Teen wins gold for Jamaica while grieving murder of mom, Verona Slack

Those plans, however, were shattered on March 10 when Slack was shot dead, leaving her parents, other relatives and friends.

“The horrors of that night will forever linger in the minds and hearts of her loved ones,” Trail said. A number of other persons also gave glowing tributes at the funeral service before Slack was interred at Commodore Cemetery in Linstead.


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