JIS News

Hundreds including relatives, Jamaican community leaders, friends and colleagues turned out on December 12, to say farewell to the late former Office Manager at the Jamaican High Commission, in London, England, Donovan (Don) Hammond.
The funeral Mass of Thanksgiving was held at the St. Cedds Roman Catholic Church, in Goodmayes, Essex, and featured tributes in words, song and poetry from Mr. Hammond’s daughters, and grand children.
Mr. Hammond, who worked with the High Commission for almost 35 years, died on November 26, after a battle with cancer.
In his tribute, High Commissioner, Burchell Whiteman, said Mr. Hammond was equal to every challenge, and was a thoughtful person, who knew that there was more to life than material things.
“He was a person who showed respect to all, who observed proper protocol in all his dealings, who in his every action brought pride and honour to his country, and who in turn made us all proud to have been associated with him. He did not have an easy life. He had to face challenges, opposition and indeed hostility, very often undeserved, but he never responded in kind or allowed his dignity to be diminished. I believe we could apply to Don’s life the maxim reflected in one of the rarely quoted sayings of Jamaica’s first National Hero and philosopher, Marcus Mosiah Garvey, who said: ‘With confidence, you have won before you have started’, ” Mr. Whiteman said.
The High Commissioner noted that Mr. Hammond was fully integrated into the British way of life, and had many friends at all levels of the society.
“He was as much at home in the presence of Governors-General and Prime Ministers as in the company of the domino crowd or the most junior member of staff. His colleagues regarded him with love and with respect, either as the one Don or as Don – the man with the van,” he added.
Mr. Hammond began working for the Jamaican High Commission in 1974. He was originally from Allman Town in Kingston, but moved to the United Kingdom in 1962, to live with his grandmother and complete his education. He leaves behind wife Yvonne, five daughters, grand children and scores of other relatives and friends.