VIDEO: 'We've given up on Jamaica'

Former Skatalites member and his wife mourn their son’s murder

Kimmo Matthews

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Print this page Email A Friend!




FORMER Skatalites band member Lloyd Brevett and his wife Ruth say they have lost faith in Jamaica and have decided to spend the rest of their lives in another country.


The couple said they came to the painful decision after the murder of their son, Okeene, early Sunday morning in their home community of Seaview Gardens.


Okeene was shot dead by thugs hours after he accepted a Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) award on behalf of the legendary Skatalites Saturday night at Emancipation Park in New Kingston.


Okeene had gone to the function to represent his father who, at 80, is not in good health.


"I have made the decision not to stay in Jamaica," the distraught Lloyd Brevett told the Observer at his home yesterday.


His wife, who cried during the Observer's visit, echoed her husband's sentiments.


"We have given up on this community; we have given up on this place we call home. We have decided that we will not be staying here," she said.


Mr Brevett said that he actually lives overseas, but had planned to live out the rest of his days in Jamaica where he and eight other talented musicians gained fame after forming the Skatalites in 1964.


Brevett is a co-founder and former upright bass player of the band, which has recorded over 20 albums and toured the world extensively.


Among their classic recordings are Guns Of Navarone, Confucius and Freedom Sounds. They also backed several top artistes of the day, including The Wailers on the 1964 hit song Simmer Down.


The band, regarded by many as the best musical aggregation to come out of Jamaica, was once managed by P J Patterson, a former prime minister who presented the award to Okeene last Saturday.


Yesterday, the Observer was unable to speak to Patterson. However, a close associate of his said he was distraught at the young man's murder.


Okeene's brother, Joshua, was angered by what he said was the attitude of the police in Seaview Gardens Sunday night.


"When my brother was shot and lying on the ground he was still alive, and despite pleas for assistance, the police who were on the scene kept ignoring my calls for help," said Joshua.


Yesterday, scores of residents in the community remembered Okeene as a loving and peaceful person.


Yesterday, as well, JaRIA condemned the murder and described Okeene's shooters as callous.


"It is with deep sadness that the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association publicly expresses condolence to the Brevett family at the untimely passing of Okeene," said JaRIA.


The association said it believed that the lack of regard for life displayed by Okeene's murderers was very unfortunate, and urged Jamaicans to be careful and conscious of their surroundings, even while at play.


The police have not yet determined a motive for the murder.



Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive


ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT