Tallest grave in cemetery – Linstead masons took pride in building it for slain cop

July 27, 2020 0 By Horace Mills

Patrick Whyte (left) and Michael Clarke built the grave, which is taller than both of them

The masons who built a towering grave for a slain police officer, Constable Decardo Hylton, said they took immense pride in the project, adding that it is the largest grave they have built in their respective careers that span decades.

The grave is now the tallest at Commodore Cemetery in Linstead, St. Catherine.

The team of masons is headed by Patrick Whyte, who told The Beacon that the back of the structure is 11 feet tall – the highest point.

“The back is 11 feet, at the side is seven feet and at the front is five feet. The inside, we have nine feet from the earth to the roof. This is the biggest and the highest one we ever build,” said Whyte, who noted that he specializes mainly in house construction.

His co-worker on the project, Michael Clarke, who is better known as ‘Mighty Rasta’, said Constable Hylton’s grave is the largest he too has built. He has constructed thousands of graves over nearly three decades.

Both masons said they personally know the late Constable Hylton; they all are from Rosemount district in Linstead.

Whyte, who said the slain officer was his neighbour, noted that the family gave the specifications regarding the grave – and he delivered.

“The challenge to build it was kinda hard, but because we know we have the skill we put out the effort,” he added while lamenting the murder of the cop. “Mi really feel bad because they come to protect and serve, and we have to cherish them because no matter what, a still dem wi depend on.”

Whyte, in the meantime, explained that he was about 18 years old when he started out as a mason working for other people.

He later went on his own, and is now recruiting people on his projects – mainly to build houses.

“I never stop building; I come to be one of the greatest masons in the community; I get a lot of big work,” Whyte said. “Anywhere wi get one work, we end up getting two and three and four because of the quality work that we put down. Sometimes we end up with five, six, seven work. Wi love the work 100 percent and, when wi a work, wi put out 100 percent.”

Meanwhile, Constable Hylton, who was laid to rest on Saturday (July 25), was among three cops who died after being shot while trying to apprehend criminals at Horizon Park in the Spanish Town area of St. Catherine. The other deceased cops are Corporal Dane Biggs and Superintendent Leon Clunis.

ALSO READ: Parents join hundreds at burial of cop in Linstead

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