Prime Minister Designate Portia Simpson Miller called for several days of fasting and prayer for the nation’s people and children in particular, as the country struggles to cut its high crime rates.
She made her impassioned appeal Saturday as she joined hundreds of mourners who spilled over from the crammed Morant Bay Church of Christ at the funeral service for six members of one family who were brutally slain on February 26, said a report in the Jamaica Gleaner.
Mrs. Simpson Miller was one of several public figures who turned up at the funeral service for Patrice George-McCool, 28; nine-year-old Sean Chin Jr., Lloyd Marshall George McCool, three; Jihad George McCool, seven; Jesse O’Gilvie, nine; and Terry-Ann Mohammed, 40.
On February 26, the usually calm community of Duhaney Pen, St. Thomas, was thrown into chaos when the five bodies were found at two different locations in Prospect and Needham Pen in the same area. Four days later, the body of Jihad George McCool was found in Rose-mount, St. Mary.
“I want to send a message today to those who feel that they can kill from seven months to 70-year-olds that this madness must stop,” said Mrs. Simpson Miller who made a surprise entrance at the service.
“We have to mobilise every sector of the society against this encroaching evil and wickedness in our midst, I call upon the churches across Jamaica to declare days of fasting and prayer for our children and our people,” she said to shouts of ‘Amen’ from the congregation.
Throughout the service a heavy pall of gloom hung over the community amid several tributes praising the life and character of the slain family members.
Relatives and friends described the two adults as kind individuals who were loved by all in the community. Teachers and classmates of the children remembered them as vibrant, intelligent, pleasant and fun-loving.