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Tribute to The Most Honourable Sir Howard Felix Hanlan Cooke

Life Tributes

Sunday, August 10, 2014    

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HUNDREDS of mourners showed up at the Cathedral of The Most Holy Trinity on Friday to bid farewell to Sir Howard Cooke, former governor general of Jamaica.

Sir Howard, who died at age 98, was Jamaica's third governor general and held that office for 15 years from 1991.

Among those paying tribute to his exemplary life were his grandchildren Howard, Tasha and Alberto.

They remembered him as a man who loved and showed concern for others.

Tasha Cooke-Davis noted that her grandfather placed emphasis on honesty and was a strong disciplinarian.

"He loved us but was not afraid to punish us. The instant fall of his bottom lip, sometimes trembling, was a clear indicator we had done something wrong," she said.

Dr Howard Cooke said he taught them about relationships by how he treated their grandmother.

Moreover, he taught them to do their best.

"He motivated us to persist, practise motivation, while doing our best and striving for excellence," Cooke-Davis said.

He also taught them to be strong-willed.

Alberto Cooke remarked that his own chivalry, decorum and countenance was a result of his grandfather's teachings.

"I was taught by one of the finest old-school gentlemen who ever lived," he said.

Each individual, his grandchildren mintained, should strive to complete with loving excellence the work, like Sir Howard, that they were destined to do.

Reverend Dr Maitland Evans, who delivered the sermon, said Sir Howard's life should not be judged by his personal gains, but rather, his impact on society.

"His legacy should not be judged by the state of his bank account but by the account of his well-lived life with which he continues to teach the nation," Evans said.

Tributes also came from the National Chorale of Jamaica, the Jamaican Folk Singers and the Hope United Church.

Sir Howard received a 21-gun salute from the military as they marched with his casket in tow to the National Heroes Park where he was laid to rest.

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