The thanksgiving service for internationally renowned reggae star, frontman of Toots and the Maytals, took place yesterday, but the burial had to be abruptly halted when the family found out she was not in possession of the burial order.
Toots’ widow Doreen and their daughter Leba were tasked with planning the funeral for the Grammy-winning reggae artist, whose career spanned six decades. At the end of the Thanksgiving service, held at the Chapel of Perry’s Funeral Home in St. Catherine, the family asked the media not to show up for interment at Dovecot Memorial Gardens, also in the parish. However, when the entourage arrived in Dovecot, it was discovered that none of the family members had in their possession a vital piece of paper: the burial order.
“They looked for him, but it was futile. The burial order just could not be found, ”said a source The gleaner. The hearse, attendants, and the officiating minister were parked at Dovecot Cemetery for over an hour patiently waiting for the family to produce the required document, but all was in vain. As a result, the body had to be returned to the morgue as there can be no burial without the presentation of the burial order.
And for that, Hibbert-Bailey praises the Most High.
“God intervened!” she screamed when contacted by The gleaner. “Me and Wilbert (Toots’ nephew) and other family members prayed and fasted about this situation because we wanted Dad to have a proper funeral. The Hibbert family suffered, but we decided we were going to use faith because faith moves mountains. To God be the glory; He answers prayers, ”said an ecstatic Hibbert-Bailey.
Wilbert Hibbert a dit The gleaner last week he wanted a huge consignment for his beloved uncle, who received top local and international accolades for his contribution to ska, rocksteady and reggae music. His desire was for Toots to be buried in his hometown of Treadlight District in Clarendon or, if not, in a place as prestigious as National Heroes Circle.
Wilbert and the rest of the Hibbert clan of Treadlight weren’t present at yesterday’s service, and neither was Jenieve. “It was a very difficult decision, but it was a decision I had to make. I came to Jamaica to honor my father because the Bible says, “Honor your father and your mother,” so I was unable to attend the funeral my sister had prepared. Dad was a human person, and he was always very respectful of the people who helped put him where he was. He has a legacy, and it was built on his hard work, and there is nothing I can do to discredit that legacy. He deserves to be honored as it should, and a private service could not do it, ”said Hibbert-Bailey.
She shared with The gleaner that someone had sent him a statement that spoke of the fact that in life Toots often complained that he was robbed by people who enjoyed his music and never paid him, and in death he was again Fly. This time, she says, her father was having a funeral stolen that matched his legendary status.