Hundreds braved last Sunday’s inclement weather to pay final tributes to the victims of the December 19 road accident in the Rio Grande Valley, Portland, at the Mill Bank Community Centre.
The congregation, which included relatives and friends of the victims, and scores of persons from Mill Bank and other communities within and outside of Portland, packed the small community centre which had to be used after heavy rains caused the abandonment of a tent which was originally erected for the purpose.
Among those attending the service were Prime Minister Bruce Golding and Mrs. Golding; Minister Without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, James Robertson; Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister, Daryl Vaz; Opposition Leader, Portia Simpson-Miller; Custos of Portland, the Hon. Roy Thompson; Members of Parliament, Dr. Donald Rhodd, Dr. Fenton Ferguson and Dr. Morais Guy, and President of the Jamaica Agricultural Society, Senator Norman Grant.Condolences were expressed by Prime Minister Golding, Mrs. Simpson-Miller, Custos Thompson, the Member of Parliament for Eastern Portland, Dr. Donald Rhodd, and Senator Grant.
Opposition Leader, Portia Simpson-Miller, expresses condolence at the funeral service for the final seven victims of the December 19 Portland truck accident, which was held at the Mill Bank community centre on Sunday (Jan. 25).
Delivering the sermon, Pastor of the Fellowship Circuit of Baptist Churches in Portland, the Rev. Sheldon Ashman, recalled the grief he suffered when his father-in-law and mother-in-law died within two days of each other, and likened that ordeal to the trauma being experienced by the relatives of the victims and other members of the community.
Using Deutoronomy Chapter 29: 29 as the text for his sermon, Rev. Ashman said that, although many persons might be inclined to ask why such a deadly accident occurred, there were questions which only God could answer, as man could not interpret God’s actions on every occasion.
He noted however that while God’s actions were not always understood by man, there were some things of which man was fully aware and understanding of and could use them for the benefit of everyone.
Rev. Sheldon Ashman, Pastor of the Fellowship Circuit of Baptist Churches in Portland, delivers the sermon at the funeral service for the final seven victims of the December 19 Portland truck accident, which was held at the Mill Bank community centre on Sunday (Jan. 25).
He said that the indomitable spirit of the people of the Rio Grande Valley, was one of the things of which man was fully aware and understood.
Rev. Ashman said he was confident that the people of the area will rise up from the effects of the tragedy and, with the help of God, keep their community one of which all Jamaica can be proud.
He said that there was a necessity to intervene to prevent potentially harmful and dangerous situations from developing, to the point where they can have disastrous effects on the society, and that some of the infrastructure in the Rio Grande Valley urgently needed attention.
Expressing condolences to the family members of the victims, he said they, as well as other members of the community, should be comforted by the fact that death is not the end of the journey for man, as Jesus’ resurrection had proven that there is life after death.
He encouraged the members of the congregation to enter into a personal relationship with God, and assured them that God would help them to rise up and successfully face the challenges with which they are confronted.