Sunday, November 16, 2008
Remembering Uncle Melvin - Road Crash Victim
Today is the World Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims. In his message, Prime Minister Bruce Golding, who is also Chairman of our National Road Safety Council, observed that EVERY THREE MINUTES, A CHILD IS KILLED IN A ROAD ACCIDENT SOMEWHERE IN THE WORLD.
The Council, under the leadership of Vice Chairman/Convenor Dr Lucien Jones and Executive Director Mrs Paula Fletcher, has launched the Save 300 Lives campaign. They are appealing to Jamaicans to at least stay below the 300 number - we lost 350 lives on the road last year, and have already lost over 270 since the beginning of 2008.
At a Church Service to mark the day, held this morning at Saxthorpe Methodist, we paused to remember the loved ones we had lost and memories of my favourite uncle, Melvin Williams, came flooding back. Uncle Melvin, my mother's brother, lived all his life in the little district of Big Bridge, Westmoreland. He was a farmer and fisherman and rode his bicycle everywhere.
When we were children and "spent time" at the Williams homestead, Uncle Melvin would take us for rides, and placed himself totally at our disposal -- never tiring of picking starapples and guineps, peeling oranges and giving us piggy-back rides. His eyes twinkled and his laughter came from way down in his belly. How we all loved him!
About 20 years ago, we got the terrible news that Uncle Melvin was knocked off his bicycle by a speeding minivan. He was taken to hospital, never regained consciousness and died within a few days.
As we remember our loved ones who lost their lives on the road, we can promise ourselves that we will do everything in our power to protect the life of every road user - including our own. Fasten your seat belt, stay within speed limits, don't drink and drive. Life is precious - take care!!