Former mayor Beriah Henlon gets fitting salute
Beriah Henlon, pastor, politician, farmer, building contractor, Justice of the peace and father, died on February 8, some two and a half weeks short of his 95th birthday.
Henlon, affectionately called 'Maas B', was born in Browns Mountain, Reserve, Trelawny, on February 26, 1923.
Such was the impact of 'Maas B' on the lives of people that a throng of them turned up at the Reserve Community Centre to honour him at his thanksgiving service on Sunday. His body was later buried at the Reserve Cemetery.
Desmond Leakey, a former member of Parliament for North Trelawny during the period which Maas B served as councillor, remembered him as a "Norman Manleyite".
"He loved the People's National Party and served for 17 years representing the Sherwood Division, the last seven as mayor of Falmouth. He was a stubborn man who stood for his beliefs.
"He could not be bought and he hated corruption. This was a man who served guided by his Christian belief," Leakey said.
Tribute after tribute reflected on Maas B's dedication to the Assembly of Yahweh. He founded a branch in Reserve in 1951 and pastored the church from then until 2013.
UNQUENCHABLE THIRST FOR THE WORD
Pastor Lynval Henry said, "He had an unquenchable thirst for the word of Yahweh."
Elsunuah Henlon, one of Maas B's 10 children, delivered the remembrance.
"To us, he was daddy. To his grandchildren, he was grandpa and to everybody else, he was just Maas B. Daddy lived a life that was stronger than words. You learned from him. Our daddy was not for sale. He could not be bribed. I remember when I did holiday work at the parish council, he refused to sign my cheque. This, he said, was to ensure that everything was above board. This dean of discipline who did not spare the rod, exposed all his children to public speaking. All of us had to be in church on a Saturday, and from time, to time, we had to give a testimony. He graduated from the Old and New Testament and told geography from the Bible," the younger Henlon said.
Telsa, one of his daughters, said: "Daddy and I would sit and talk on different subjects. An avid reader, he could hold a conversation on almost any subject."
"As I grew older, I remember saying to him, 'Daddy, I am not going to marry nuh puss in a bag. His response shocked my siblings. In his deep, bass voice, he said: 'Yuh right, daughter'."
Pastor Richard Gallimore delivered a short sermon.
"The virtues of Pastor Beriah came out in the many tributes. He loved Yahweh, and if there was a devoted Christian, he was that one. This was a man who you could describe as an honest politician. If you ever knew him, live your life by his example."