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RIP Stanley Roy Archer

1, December 2022

A tribute to my dad

Good afternoon, church family and friends. First of all, thank you so much for coming here today whether you’re here in person or you’re virtually joining us [ed. on the live stream]. I appreciate it.

He was even given, what I would regard as a Knighthood in Jamaica, for his services to Agriculture and the community. I was so happily proud of him. He was someone who said “I have no regrets,” probably he told that to some of you. “I lived a good life you know.” He took delight in the tiny things and was thankful for life. He was leading all the time. So I’m going to give you a flavor and skip some bits because obviously we all seem to have known him quite well.

He taught me the Lord’s Prayer when I was just three years old and made me understand what every single word meant. So by the age of three, I understood that and we would say it together at bedtime. So for those people who don’t think he was a spiritual man, he was spiritual in a different way. It wasn’t about going in to churches. He had some experiences of a lot of people in the church that weren’t up to his standards. Let’s say they weren’t following the lessons in his way and that’s why you don’t see him in church that much.

So Dad took to being a single parent of me with relative ease, enthusiasm, love and patience and of course he had that sense of duty. I don’t know if any of you heard him say “a man has to do what a man has to do when a man has to do what he ought to do,” go figure.

Dad only ever wanted to support and be here for all of us and for us to be the best that we could possibly be no matter what our passion was. He valued the Arts and Sciences or whatever equally; it didn’t matter that you were an artist or a musician, he encouraged us in everything that we wanted to be and to be the best that we could possibly be no matter what our passion was. He valued the arts and sciences equally and it didn’t matter to him that you were an artist or a musician or whatever; he encouraged everything that we wanted to be. My dad would often tell me “we’re a team, it’s always been me and you from the beginning.”

It was Chrissy’s second dad and I understand that. We were indeed a team me and my dad and it’s clear that this closeness did not prevent others from sharing the love and joining our team, so our family has continued to grow, that’s who you are. Even in those last two weeks when my dad was fighting for more time because he wanted to keep on working, he still made it a priority to make sure and ask you; “How are you doing? He was sick in his hospital bed and was asking how was everything with the children because he was a caring loving inspired and inspirational man.

Now consider, he was a man who left school at 14 and described himself as semi literate. What a clever man. My sister and Carol Crosby, his adopted daughter, said that he could put his hand to anything. Except for electrics that is because he was frightened of getting electrocuted. Now you have heard of all that he did, I want to add that he founded the Jeffrey Town Farmers Association, kind of like a Cooperative with his friend Lucian Bennett. The group would meet in his brother’s cellar.

He was deeply hurt by the chasm between the rich and disadvantaged people which I believe Dave Neita touched on. He loved to talk; does anyone disagree – and meeting friends for some nyammings. To eat and talk with him, him doing most of the talking but we all seemed to value and enjoy that. He would say, “I just want to tell you this …” I had a very limited diet of television when I was small and was only allowed to watch the news and Crossroads Motel. I don’t know why I was allowed to watch that one, but it shows my age. We did listen to a lot of BBC Radio plays and ironically ‘listen with mother’. Later on, he grew to love David Attenborough’s wildlife programs, reality vet shows and gardening programs.

In a biblical way my dad used to talk about being on overtime beyond three score and 10. I remember when he was in his 70s, he told me, “I think I could give you another 15 years,” so he was more or less correct on that one. And this was dad’s way of preparing me for today and the time ahead. He would say that any game can play out, he would say to his friend Uncle Euston, “at our age my friend, anything can happen.” Sadly, many of you have been where I am right now with your parents and this is why I’m eternally grateful for you to even come here and do this with me. I feel your pain. May your loved ones also rest in peace, and I hope they’ll meet up with my dad and have a good chat.

I have three messages from my dad’s life for you. We know how stories come down to us from our elders. you never regret the time taken with them. Firstly, treat everyone as you wish to be treated. That’s why there’s so many of you here today. Second, don’t be afraid to explore your passion. You’ll find a way to make it happen and all of you here today are a testament to that because you’ve taken the chance to go into your music or go into your art or in to a business of some kind. Thirdly, be of good cheer, as my dad would say, and be good to each other, look after one another.

Finally brethren farewell be perfect be of good Comfort. We have one mind live in peace and the god of love and peace shall be with you.