Laughter, tears mark show of love for Errol Miller

BY SHARLENE HENDRICKS
Staff reporter
hendrickss@jamaicapbserver.com

Sunday, October 07, 2018

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TRIBUTES competed with laughter and tears yesterday during the thanksgiving service for the life of former executive chairman of the FLOW Foundation Errol Keith Miller.

A long-standing former employee of Cable and Wireless and FLOW Jamaica, Miller died after suffering a heart attack last month.

Family, friends and members of his professional circle filled the hall and side tents at Havenhill Baptist Church on Mannings Hill Road in St Andrew to celebrate the life of one who was remembered as a family man, nation builder, communications guru, and philanthropist.

Miller, who was also a member of Havenhill Baptist Church, was remembered as a 'gentle giant' and a committed Christian.

“He was a gentle giant, always smiling and a stickler for things to be done the right way. He not only talked the talk of the Christian life, but walked the walk,” said member and musical director at the church, Lennox Deane.

Managing director of FLOW Stephen Price remembered Miller, the foundation's former boss, as extraordinary.

“Today we celebrate the life and work of an exceptional man, Errol Keith Miller; a man who meant so much to many and asked for little in return. I represent the hundreds at FLOW Jamaica who mourn the loss of our telecommunications titan, our consummate professional and compassionate foundation chairman,” Price said.

The presence of former prime ministers Bruce Golding and Portia Simpson Miller was added testament to the national love and respect Miller had garnered in his professional and personal life.

Governor General Sir Patrick Allen, who was represented by Custos of Kingston Steadman Fuller, praised Miller for his national contribution which, he said, contrasted with his humble spirit.

“Our dear friend Errol Miller was a Jamaican stalwart who impacted the lives of countless citizens of our country. His philanthropic engagements were underpinned by a generosity of spirit and a belief in making a positive difference in the lives of his fellow Jamaicans. Despite his many accomplishments, Errol radiated a humility which endeared him to all with whom he interacted. His contribution to the development of sports, education and technology reflected his versatility as well as his compelling desire to be of service to others,” Sir Patrick said.

Rochell Myers, director at the FLOW Jamaica Foundation, remembered her colleague as a passionate environmentalist with a cheerful disposition, always cracking and inserting one of his many jokes.

“As executive chairman of FLOW Foundation, E K worked tirelessly to equip the next generation with the tools needed to make the most of their lives. However, for us on the FLOW Foundation board, he was a people person who knew how to create a comfortable environment regardless of the situation. He also incorporated humour in each interaction along with a hug and a kiss,” Myers said.

For his closest family — his wife Joylyn Miller, brother Peter Pratt, daughters Shannon Miller and Dr Lesley-Ann Miller-Wilson, and son Stephen Miller — they remembered their main man for his gentle fondness.

“Errol was a lot of things to a lot of people, as evidenced by the turnout today, but to me he was just Errol, my big brother and someone whom I admired. Errol was just one of those unique individuals who enriched your life”, said Pratt.

Daughters Shannon and Lesley-Ann spoke dotingly about their father.

“It is an impossible task to fully express what my father meant to me. I feel blessed and privileged to have had a relationship with my father. He has done more than just love me unconditionally, but has taught me how to treat people and left a great desire in me to carry on his legacy of service in things we both cared deeply about,” said Shannon, the youngest of Miller's children.

“Daddy loved to make jokes, he loved to laugh and he loved to make people laugh. And he could find humour in almost any situation,” shared Lesley-Ann, the first of Miller's three children, who ignited much laughter by sharing one of her dad's legendary jokes.

Miller's son, Stephen, who also works at FLOW Jamaica, described his father as a great man and a great servant to humanity. “He was a great Jamaican, and I admired him for all those things but I loved him because he was truly a great father,” Stephen said, remembering his dad as a fierce competitor in golf, a sport which they played together.

Miller's wife, whose tribute was read by personal representatives, revealed her last moments shared with her husband, whose singing and playful mischief she expressed as some of the things she will miss most about him.

Miller was eulogised by childhood friend and cousin Keith Senior as a proud product of Old Harbour Bay, where he was born and held in high esteem in the community as the first person in the “sleepy seaside district to pass the Common Entrance and to get a Government scholarship”.

Senior ended with the words of songwriter Roger Miller, “and the first time we said hello, we began our last goodbye”.

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