Seaton George McFarlane remembered for his winning smile and sense of humour
THE mood was more celebratory than mournful and the customary black and white funeral garb was set aside for more cheerful attire, as friends and family of Seaton George McFarlene gathered last Saturday for his thanksgiving service.
Tribute after tribute painted the father of two as an upstanding family man with an aptitude for music, particularly the trumpet which he played at the Faith Cathedral Deliberance Centre where his thanksgiving service was held. Most of the day’s proceedings saw tributes being given in songs and the playing of musical instruments, prompting moderator Verna Blair to comment, “It is fitting that for someone who was so immersed in his music, we are getting some musical tributes going.”
Among those paying their respect to the decease was his daughter, 10-year-old Masika, who thrilled the gathering as she pounded out “Joyful Joyful” on keyboard. The rendition cemented for those who knew her father that even in death, it was hard to be sad in his presence.
“He was the kind of person that would have everyone laughing so much that you would end up crying,” recalled his sisters-in-law Ena Thomas and Ethel James, whose combined written tribute was read by Sharee Harley.
The two had fond memories of being driven by McFarlene to the beach on a regular basis or on trips to see relatives.
“Most of the time we didn’t even feel the length of the trip because he spent most of the time giving jokes,” they said.
But perhaps even more than his sense of humour and his trademark smile, it was his commitment to family and service that was the central focus for those who spoke about McFarlene.
“He loved his family. He loved and cared and was always willing to help in any situation,” recounted Delrose Burke, who through teaching Masika at the St Peter and Paul Preparatory School got to develop a good relationship with her dad.
“I could see his love for his daughter like the brightest beam you can ever imagine,” she said.
Prior to his death, McFarlene eked out a living for his widow Elizabeth and his children as a taximan first, then as a businessman then as a salesman. At the time of is death he was still into sales.
Among those who felt privileged to work with him was Managing Director of Island Dairies, Livingston Binns. Having worked with McFarlene for over twenty-years he summarised his memories of him as thus,
“He was not a popular sales man, but I could say he was consistent. He dressed casually, but he was elegant. He was very quite, but he was very effective,” Binns said.
McFarlene was the first of four children sired by Mathew McFarlane and Gloria Shuriah and spent his earlier years with his grandparents.
He relocated to Kingston at age nine and attended the Mico Practicing School where he clung to the vision of becoming a jeweller upon leaving school.
In his sermon, officiating minister Bishop Herro Blair, reminded the gathering that all should aim to be prepared to meet God.
“We all live in the shadow of death and we all are aware that our time of termination is eminent,” he said.