Cecil Simmonds one of St Ann’s best known businessmen was today laid to rest, after being hailed as a man of vision, humility and generosity at a thanksgiving service in Ocho Rios, St Ann.
Mr Simmonds died age 89 on May 28, after a brief illness.
Mourners packed the Ocho Rios Baptist Church and heard many tributes all celebrating the life of a man who, his family members and friends said, pulled himself up by the bootstraps and who sought financial independence and achieved it through hard work and trust in God.
At his side through the journey was his wife for 60 years, Eileen. The couple had three children. One of those paying tributes, Dr Horace Betton said “there is just no way one could pay tribute to Cecil Simmonds without (reference to) Eileen Simmonds.”
At times during the service including when her grandson spoke of the romance between Cecil and Eileen, Mrs Simmonds smiled. The two were more than husband and wife bit were also business partners and respected the opinion of each other.
Tributes came from several leading citizens in St Ann, family members and also from the staff of one of his better known businesses Simmonds Enterprises, the hardware store in Ocho Rios.
Mr Simmonds was also heavily involved in real estate development, including building the first plaza in Ocho Rios and later putting up several commercial and residential buildings in and around the resort town of Ocho Rios and in the neighbouring parish of St Mary.
Among those paying tribute to his life were Custos of St Ann Norman Walters, Mayor of St Ann’s Bay Michael Belnavis; and Pastor Errol Williamson .
Remembrance was given by Maureen Haye and Jacqueline Wilson and the eulogy by Deborah Simmonds, daughter in law and Damion Heslop, grandson.
The sermon was breached by Dr Raphael Thomas. Other members of the clergy participating were Rev Carlton Mullings, Pastors Paul Hemmings, Norman Johnson and Errol Williams. Organist was Karl Fuller.
Interment was in the St Ann’s Bay Cemetery.