Thursday, June 4 2015
Good afternoon, Church. Allow me to apologize for my absence from Parham on a day, and at this memorial service, when the entire community needs to embrace those who have suffered such a great loss.
Several government officials and I traveled to New York City to meetings with investors and tourism promotion officials. I am truly sorry for my absence and for my inability to be with you at this time. Today is truly one of the saddest days of my life.
No more that burly gait
No more that joyous face
No more that radiant smile
No more that resonant voice
No more on this earth, my brother
Urcil “Sheik” Martin
Yet, in my heart, he is here
In my bones and in my marrow,
Sheik lives on
In my memory,
In my every conscious moment, he stands beside me as he always did.
My brother, and my friend;
My TRUE friend!
The chain of love he forged
Has not been broken by his untimely death
Nor has it been in the least bit weakened
If anything, the chain has grown stronger
Reaching beyond this mortal life
To that better place where Urcil must be
Laughing and happ;y in the company of the Almighty
I do not pretend that I do not feel anger at his loss
I do not pretend that my heart is not bursting wi9th the grief of his passing
I do not pretend that I do not question why
I do all these things
And, I cry inside, as I weep outside
For “Sheik” did not deserve to die so young and so sudden So, we come today to mourn the passing and celebrate the life of Urcil “Sheik” Martin, my friend, my brother , my constituent and comrade. We all feel the deep sense of loss for a loved one who is cut down in his prime enjoying the fullness of life still filled with so much hope, so much dreams, so much love, and so much more to give; so much more to share. For Urcil, was still a man in his prime with today’s health care forty-seven (47) years is still a young age, and none of us expec cted him to be cut down so suddenly without warning, without any time to say a proper goodbye.
Bit we have lived long enough to know that life is not fair, and none of us are guaranteed this precious givt of life.
We live every day by the mercy of God, and to Him we must give constant and incessant praise accepting his mercies and using every day to do good, to be kind, to love, to share, to live.
Nevertheless, I take this opportunity to express my heartfelt condolences to the Martin family on the tragic loss suffered through the actions of another villager. Urcil Martin and I went to the Sunnyside School at the same time. He was my Head Boy and a very intelligent student who learned his lessons well. In those days only the well to do and affluent were able to attend the Sunnyside School, however Urcil was one of the few students who due to his intellectual ability was able to secure a scholarship from the Mill Reef Club.
It was then that our close friendship was born which later developed into a lifelong bond of brotherhood. In fact, when I began to give consideration to becoming an elected politician, Urcil Martin was the one that brought me to Parham to be introduced to the most influential and grassroot members of the community. From then onwards he became one of my most trusted and loyal campaigners, and went on to become the Vice chairman of the St Peter’s ABLP branch. On the three occasions that I sought public office Urcil Martin was the first person to put his name forward to have me nominated.
I have loved him as a brother and a friend. I know it will be hard for most of us in these circumstances to forgive, but yet in the Book of Matthew, Chapter 18, Verse 21 and 22 tells us how we should respond: Then came Peter to Him and said Lord how oft shall my brother sin against me and I forgive Him? Till seven times? Jesus said unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times; but Until seventy times seven.
As a Christian, the most difficult decision which God calls upon us to make, is the act of forgiveness. I join in all humble prayer to seek forgiveness of the sinner who has caused us this numbing pain, today.
Here lies a very good man. He gave of himself to his community and, by extension, to his country. He sought no reward, he received very little thanks. Here lies before us a hard-working citizen whose honest labour helped to feed his fellow countrymen, while he took care of the needs of his family.
In addition to being a devoted father and partner, Mr. Martin was also a farmer and he gave of his time freely and without limits to his community. As a young man he represented Parham in football. After his playing days were over he was involved in the Parham team playing the role of Coach as well as Counselor to the young players of the Parham Football Club. He was a strong community mobiliser and could be counted upon to assist members of the community in many ways.
In an effort to offer more opportunities to the young men of Parham “Sheik” as he was affectionately called started the (A.B.A.Y.A) Able, Best at all Times, Aim High, Yes We Can, All for One Community Group. This further made him one of the most loved and respected Community minded individuals in the villages of Parham and Pares Village. All in all he was a great community minded person, loved by many and respected by most.
Unfortunately, on the evening of Monday 4th May 2015, at the age of 47 years his life came to an untimely end at the hands of a fellow villager. “Sheik” was hacked to death in his home in a most brutal and callous manner. Urcil is survived by his mother Vanessa Hope Gabriel, his common-law-wife Sherry Martin and six (6) children Sanchez Martin, Crystal Martin, Tralejah Martin, Tana Martin, Dante Hope & Alicia Martin
Indeed, the Parham Community has lost a strong male figure in Mr. Urcil Martin. Mr. Martin did not seek monetary rewards for his unlimited help and assistance to his community. Many a young man in the village can attest to the fact that Mr. Martin through sports has helped them to keep their lives on track. He was a coach, friend and mentor to them. Had it not been for his intervention many of these young men could have been behind bars today. Mr. Martin did not seek the airways to broadcast what he was doing but the many young men lives that he had touched spoke silently of his goodness with appreciation and gratitude.
“Shiek or “Iron Shiek” did not live a life of luxury, quite the contrary he was the sole breadwinner of the family. Indeed he worked to provide for his family; to this end when he was not farming he would be on a painting job.
Here lies a perfectly innocent man who tried to resolve a problem with his neighbor by gentle persuasion and by lawful means. Instead of peace, he met a violent death. Injustice and pain and suffering are our lot today. Christ, our Saviour, suffered death upon the Cross for us and our sins. Let us therefore love one another. Let us abide the commandment of Jesus Christ.
As your Parliamentary Representative, I can only mourn as you are now mourning. The Martin family has suffered a great loss that each of us can feel. I have lost a true brother and genuine friend. We have come to this place, a church, where we ask our God to usher our brother into the Heavenly Kingdom, there to live peaceably with the Angels.
And so, we must take his death as a sign and symbol that we do not know the hour of our final parting. It may be sudden. It may be long. It may be now. It may be later. But whatever and whenever, we must know that those who would sum up our lives must confidently say, that we worked by the sweat of our brow and with the brow of our brain to change the world. That fore sure, and in sum, was true of Urcil “Sheik” Martin as it is true of all truly remarkable men and women.
May we all lend our support to the Martin family, at this time, and to continue to give support long after today passes.
The Famous Philosopher and Poet Kahlil Gibran wrote:
“For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?
Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance”.
Dance on my brother “Shiek”! Dance on Urcil!
May his soul rest in eternal peace.
God bless you all. Amen