‘Live like Delly’

Mourn­ers urged to ex­ude pas­sion, pur­pose of fallen school­boy foot­baller

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS - Jodi-Ann Gilpin Gleaner Writer jodi-ann.gilpin@glean­erjm.com

DO­MINIC JAMES’ sud­den pass­ing brought many to tears, but mourn­ers who turned out yes­ter­day for his thanks­giv­ing ser­vice were en­cour­aged to fo­cus on the ex­em­plary life he lived and his in­fec­tious smile – the talk­ing points among the many per­sons who gave trib­utes.

The ser­vice was also a trib­ute to his par­ents, David and De­nese James, who were com­mended for the good val­ues they taught their son while he was alive and the strength they dis­played dur­ing a very dif­fi­cult time.

The Holy Trin­ity Cathedral, which was packed to ca­pac­ity, saw the at­ten­dance of govern­ment min­is­ters, mem­bers of the foot­ball fra­ter­nity, stu­dents and other well-wish­ers.

Floyd Green, state min­is­ter in the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion, Youth and In­for­ma­tion, in­di­cated that though Do­minic lived a short life, his out­stand­ing foot­ball skills and lead­er­ship qual­i­ties would not be for­got­ten.

“I have al­ways held the view that par­ents shouldn’t have to bury their chil­dren, but I also believe in God’s abid­ing will. (Do­minic’s) pass­ing has cut through all gen­er­a­tions and I pray for God’s guid­ance, es­pe­cially for his par­ents. I do believe that God will see us through,” Green told the gath­er­ing.

“The min­istry joins the na­tion in pay­ing trib­ute to Do­minic James – son, stu­dent, friend and ace foot­baller. He was eas­ily recog­nised by his coach Neville Bell (coach of the St Ge­orge’s Col­lege foot­ball team) as he was cho­sen to lead his team ... . It ob­vi­ously speaks vol­umes to his strength of char­ac­ter and his tenac­ity, to leave one school and at­tend an­other school and move up in a com­pet­i­tive area such as foot­ball to the role of cap­tain.”

SPIR­ITED TRIB­UTE

Gre­gory Jones, who was Do­minic’s coach and teacher while he was a stu­dent at the Em­manuel Chris­tian Academy in St An­drew, brought the au­di­ence to their feet after a spir­ited trib­ute which ex­pressed grat­i­tude to the foot­baller’s par­ents for their ded­i­ca­tion and com­mit­ment.

“One of the things that struck me about Do­minic James was his heart. He looked like a midget among giants, but he had a big heart. He was a straight-A stu­dent, an ex­cel­lent boy. I want to en­cour­age us to live like Delly (Do­minic’s nick­name). Live with pas­sion, he had a pas­sion; live with pur­pose, he had a pur­pose, he wasn’t eas­ily swayed; and live pos­i­tive,” he said.

“Thank you, Mr and Mrs James (David and De­nese) for choos­ing to send him to Em­manuel Chris­tian Academy, the school is a bet­ter school be­cause of Do­minic James. Thank you for al­low­ing us to be part of his life. He started at the royal blue (Em­manuel), then tran­si­tioned to the true blue (Ja­maica Col­lege), then the sky blue (St Ge­orge’s Col­lege) and now he is in a bet­ter place,” he de­clared.

AN­CHORED ON THE PRIN­CI­PLES OF GOD

His aunt, Shirlette ThomasGooden, noted that she was most grate­ful that his val­ues were an­chored on the prin­ci­ples of God.

“He was so filled with the love of God which just over­flowed with a smile. He was al­ways so re­spect­ful; when­ever he’s ad­dress­ing me he never leaves off ‘Aunty’. He was not afraid to say ‘I love you’, no mat­ter your gen­der,” she re­called.

“I’m happy be­cause, as a fam­ily, I know we spent a lot of time with him but I am sad be­cause we won’t have that chance any­more. I am grate­ful be­cause I saw the child, the boy and the man he had be­come,” she de­clared.

James, 18, died last month after he col­lapsed dur­ing his team’s ISSAFLOW Man­ning Cup match against Ex­cel­sior High at the Sta­dium East field in Kingston.

St Ge­orge’s Col­lege’s Man­ning Cup team (left) and Ja­maica Col­lege’s Man­ning Cup team (right) form a guard of honour as the cof­fin bear­ing the body of Do­minic James leaves the Holy Trin­ity Cathedral on North Street in Kingston yes­ter­day.

PHO­TOS BY JER­MAINE BARNABY/ FREE­LANCE PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

Do­minic James’ aunt, Val­rey Neil (cen­tre), com­forts her brother, David James (left), and sis­ter-in­law, De­nese James, as they mourn at the funeral for their son at the Holy Trin­ity Cathedral on North Street in Kingston yes­ter­day.

LEFT: Neville Bell (left), coach of the St Ge­orge’s Col­lege Man­ning Cup foot­ball team, com­forts a weep­ing team mem­ber, John Wil­son, dur­ing the funeral.

Mem­bers of the Ja­maica Col­lege foot­ball team walk by the cof­fin after their trib­ute to for­mer team mem­ber Do­minic James.

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