Click here to print page

Wendell Stewart remembered as 'a servant of the people'

BY HORACE HINES
Observer staff reporter
hinesh@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, November 11, 2019

FALMOUTH, Trelawny — Former Trelawny Northern Member of Parliament (MP) Wendell “Bull Bull” Stewart, who died at his home here yesterday morning, is being remembered as “truly a servant of the people”.

Yesterday, sitting MP Victor Wright said Stewart “made life-changing decisions so he could serve”.

“He has, through his stewardship, touched and changed the lives of many in Trelawny Northern, and continued even after his exit from active politics in 2002. So strong was his desire to serve that in 2016 he offered himself as a candidate for the Duncan's Division in the local government election,” Wright told the Jamaica Observer.

Stewart's death was confirmed by his son, Jermaine, who told the Jamaica Observer that the former parliamentarian's body was discovered by his sister, Claire, who went to check on him at the family home in Falmouth.

Stewart, who was diabetic and reportedly ailing for some time, suffered a stroke on June 12, 2018. Shortly after recovering from the stroke, he was again hospitalised, at which time one of his legs was amputated.

The one-term People's National Party MP, who served as parliamentary representative between December 18, 1997 and October 2002, shot to prominence as the president of the now defunct Falmouth-based Conquerors Club during the 1980s.

Speaking to the Observer about Stewart yesterday, Wright said: “He was a member of the Falmouth Infant School board, and founding member and president of one of Falmouth's original youth clubs, the Conquerors. This club, during its heights, contributed significantly to the development of Falmouth through sports, welfare and preservation of its Georgian heritage. He was a believer in education and during his tenure as MP, he founded Wendell Stewart Basic School in New Cargen and contributed to the completion of Granville Basic School. He was an active member of The Friends of Trelawny Association and up to the time of his passing was integral in the 250th celebration for Falmouth,” he continued.

Last year, despite suffering a stroke, which significantly impacted his mobility, Stewart's zeal to continue with his voluntary project — the beautification of his native seaside town of Falmouth — did not slow.

In fact, Stewart, who was recuperating, had been getting out of bed by 4:30 each morning, religiously, not only to water and prune flowers he planted along some of the Trelawny capital's streets, but also for exercise.

With the use of his walker, which he loaded with plastic bottles filled with water to irrigate the plants, he pushed from plant to plant.

“This is my contribution to the town. Being a born and nurtured Falmouthian, I remember when this town was next to Mandeville where beautification was concerned. I believe instead of paying [weed] whacker men to go and cut these verges that the town carries, we could manicure the verges from start to finish; we could manicure areas that are just sitting there, such as the library and the police station. It's sad to say that we build places and we don't do anything to keep them beautiful and maintained,” Stewart reflected at the time.

MP Wright expressed condolences to Stewart's family.

“On behalf of the executive of the People's National Party Trelawny Northern, I take this opportunity to express our sincere condolences to his family as we hold them dearly in our thoughts and prayers during this period of bereavement,” Wright said.

People's National Party President and leader of the Opposition Dr Peter Phillips also conveyed condolences to the family and relatives of the Stewart on behalf of the leadership and the National Executive Council of the party.

“We hold you in our thoughts and prayers during this period of bereavement,” expressed Dr Phillips.