Loved ones bid farewell to ‘Family man’ Michael Sharpe

April 29, 2021

Kevin Savage is still coming to grips that the last time he saw his best friend, the late Michael Sharpe, alive was moments before he carried him to the hospital.

"He started to say 'This is it, this is it' and I had to curse him. I lifted him up because nuh COVID-19 couldn't stop me from my friend. So I lift him up, I put him in the vehicle and I rushed him. I never knew that would have been the last drive I would've made with my friend," Savage recounted.

Sharpe passed away last Tuesday, having been admitted to the hospital for a month. Speaking with the consent of Sharpe's family, the island's chief medical officer Jacqueline Bisasor-McKenzie disclosed that shortly after being inoculated, Sharpe began to show signs of being COVID-19 positive. He was hospitalised on Wednesday, March 24, and remained there until his death. Sharpe had a heart condition, one of the underlying illnesses that makes persons particularly vulnerable to the ravages of the novel coronavirus.

During his remembrance service yesterday, Sharpe was viewed as the exemplar journalist, who dedicated years of service being the voice of the people.

My fondest memory

But other than being a the distinguished journalist whose voice echoed in the homes for the nightly television news, he was remembered as a family man, never missing a date to the Hellshire Beach with his sister, Arleen.

"My fondest memory is going to Hellshire to eat the fish and festival also, with a Red Stripe. It's been a little tough this time coming to Jamaica [because] my brother is always picking me up at the airport in front of the police station, so I know exactly where to stand. He wasn't there this year. He would always make arrangements to go to a play and Hellshire but it didn't happen this year. So it's been a little tough because every year I would see him," she shared.

Sharpe's other sister, Carol, remembered the genius communicator as a gifted singer.

"He loved to sing and coming to Jamaica on vacation, he would take his vacation with us and he would do everything. He would plan trips for us to go Little Ochi, or Dunn's River, he was just a great tourism ambassador. I'm going to miss my brother, and coming to Jamaica will be a little bit different but I'm glad that you had him all those years and thank you for loving him back," Carol said, before breaking down.

Sharpe was eulogised by his niece, Zoe Mitchell, as having the name 'The Hub' which he used to bring fun, laughter and mischief at family events.

Mitchell said her uncle was a lover of sports of every kind and a true supporter of Calabar High. She said he ensured that friends and family alike were able to achieve their full potential.

"He took great joy to seeing them attain and surpass their goals. Michael strived to live by the words of one of his favourite songs, ' If I can help somebody as I pass along, if I can cheer somebody with a word or song, if I can show somebody that he is travelling wrong, then my living shall not be in vain'," she said of the late journalist.

Prior to his death, Sharpe started beekeeping and vegetable gardening. He is survived by seven children, and a host of relatives.

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