Haile was a good guy - Floyd Green mourns prep school friend
The death of Haile Clacken has taken almost three decades of friendship from Education State Minister Floyd Green.
Clacken, a former teacher, was shot by a member of a security company after he reportedly climbed on top of an armoured truck as the team was doing its rounds in St Elizabeth.
He was remembered by Green as a very kind and amazing soul.
"Haile is my oldest friend. We both started Munro Prep at the same time, from grade four, all the way through to Munro College," Green said.
Green said that Clacken went to Manchester High after sixth form and later went abroad to complete tertiary education, while he remained at Munro and then moved on to the University of West Indies.
But they still remained friends during that time.
In reflecting on their friendship, Green described Clacken as extremely smart, very gifted and a tremendous writer who had a great ability to express himself.
Throughout the years, Green noted that Clacken was one of those personalities who always found the time to encourage his peers and provide guidance.
"He was always dropping notes and giving me suggestions, even when I became member of parliament about what I could do, or telling me to keep strong," Green told THE STAR.
"Without a doubt, everybody knew that he had his struggles but that it never changed him. He remained kind, he remained gentle, and he remained a firm believer in the human spirit," he said.
And despite struggling with bipolar disorder, Green said that didn't stop Clacken from giving encouragement.
Green said Clacken and got medication and regular treatment for his condition "especially over the past few years".
"It was a testament to how strong he was that despite that illness which he took medication for, he still remained a strong and supportive friend and somebody who you could call upon," he added.
Green emphasised that mental illness is a reality that we have to face as a country.
"The level of seriousness that we treat it with, the level of understanding appreciation across the society for those who are mentally ill, who suffer from various disorders is something that we haven't quite grasped with sufficient regard as a people," he said.
Head of the St Elizabeth police, Deputy Superintendent of Police Nadine Grant-Brown, told THE STAR that investigators are collecting statements from persons who submitted themselves to be eyewitnesses.
However, she said "As it is now, we only have the account from the security guard point of view. We have no eyewitness."