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Rozann: ‘Papa’ lived a good life

Rozann: ‘Papa’ lived a good life

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by Rozann DeFreitas

I consider myself to be very lucky, being one of seven grandchildren of Hugh Haynes Hamlett. “Papa” as we affectionately called him was a very soft-spoken individual. It seemed to me as if he had no worries in the world, at least he never let them be visible to anyone.

When I was in primary school, I would meet him at his office at Building and Loan to wait on him until it was time to go home. He was sure to introduce me to all who worked around him. He had a little green car with a carriage on top which he parked in the yard of the Court House. I thought of it as being ancient but Papa must have thought of it as the greatest vehicle. That same ancient vehicle carried us on picnics to Owia Saltpond and brought us back faithfully.{{more}}

Papa enjoyed going to the Arnos Vale playing field to see the West Indies play. I often went with him and he was sure to carry his binoculars to get a closer view and his radio to listen to the commentary.

The first and only time I experienced a snowfall was about 15 years ago at Christmas time. Papa was right there with us enjoying every moment of it. He enjoyed doing things with his family. He tried many times to teach me the game of chess. Up to this day I cannot play that game. One thing for sure he was a good teacher. I think chess was just not my game.

I always referred to my grandfather as being the straightest man I know. By that I mean, I have never seen or heard of him doing anything wrong. Never had I heard anyone have a bad word to say about him or being enemies with him.

Almost every Sunday for the past seventeen months, I have been attending church with Papa. He never missed a service and if he did, everyone was sure to know that something was wrong.

When Papa got sick and was admitted to the hospital, I prayed that he would get better. I looked at my mother and grandmother at his bedside, day and night, and I saw the love he displayed in his lifetime being returned to him in his final days. At least we were all given three days to say goodbye, but I know it would have still been hard when he passed on, and it was.

I can say that Papa lived a good life and he accomplished a lot. His time on earth was not wasted and we are all grateful for his 88 years.

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