Family, friends bid farewell to Malik Weeks
This is “awesome”, exclaimed Bishop Dr Vernon G Lambe, Sr, as he took his position in the pulpit of the First Church of God, North Shore, Pembroke to bring to a culmination the three-hour plus service celebrating the life of Malik Omar Winfield Weeks.
Malik was fatally injured when his motorcycle crashed on North Shore Road, Hamilton Parish during the waning hours of Christmas Day.
He was the 24-year-old son of former Cabinet Minister, Hon. Michael Weeks, and grandson of Mrs Lois Weeks, former President of the Orchid Charity Club and ardent missionary worker at St Paul AME Church, Hamilton.
His mother Mrs Terrylynn Doyle is Deputy Principal of Clearwater Middle School.
The outpouring of grief and love for Malik was overwhelming.
We witnessed hard-boiled politicians, professional men and women openly weeping, joining hundreds of solemn youth rendering heartfelt tributes in speech, song, poetry, and later in dance when a troupe of Gombeys entered Devonshire Recreation Club auditorium at the reception following the church service.
Malik came home from his studies at Seneca College in Ontario, Canada, for the Yuletide break.
He worked at Ascot Restaurant until sunset, and then joined the rest of the family at his grandmother’s homestead, for their traditional Christmas fellowship.
In fact he was the very last of the multiple Dill-Weeks offspring to leave the homestead, responding to a telephone call to join friends elsewhere just before midnight.
He was a well educated, hardworking ambitious young man. He attended Prospect Primary School, Clearwater Middle School, Mount St Agnes Academy and the Berkeley Institute rounding out studies, first at Ridley College and then Seneca in Canada.
He was noted for his photographic memory; and his passion for basketball and the World Wide Wrestling Federation, and was admired for his ability “to give stats off the top of his head” for most players in the major NBA and NFL leagues.
His former headteacher at Clearwater Middle School tearfully eulogised Malik as his “ace boy”.
Teachers he said humorously are not supposed to have favourites, but Malik was his.
He could confidently call on Malik when he wanted his school to make an impact against Saltus Grammar and other High Schools, captaining his team in National Quiz and other Competitions.
The manager of Ascot Restaurant, Angelo Armono, accompanied by a some of his staff, paid highly emotional tribute to Malik, hailing him for being in good spirits working all day on Christmas Day as a soft-heated committed waiter with a friendly personality.
He died a half-hour before midnight Christmas night.
Malik’s father, Hon Michael Weeks brought the congregation to their feet, telling how his son with his loving, respectable and affectionate disposition had actually made him, the father.
He and his mother were young parents, but they happily raised their son together, nurturing him even after they later married separate partners.
Mr Weeks said he had named his son after the American black power revolutionary, Malcolm X, wanting him to develop in that mould.
Friend Shacobi Basden, godmother Lauren Bell, who read the obituary; friend Zayna Foggo, accompanied by MP Lovita Foggo; cousins Sia Spence and Laurie Daniels and Amber Spence, paid their tributes.
So did master soloist from St Paul AME Church, Malcolm Butterfield, accompanied on the piano by organist Cecil Smith.
Godfather Pastor Leroy Bean, fresh from his unsuccessful bid in the general election for a House seat, gave the invocation, followed by Scripture readings by Aunt Norma-Ann Smith and uncle Joseph Weeks.
The tributes were heartfelt, with a touching down-to-earth eloquence, especially Jacobie, with her piece about ‘What Ya Saw in Malik, Ya got.’
Most eloquent was the tearful tribute from Chanelle Martin, the mother of Malik’s daughter Maeisha, who celebrated her fourth birthday, two days before her father was so tragically killed. Both were spending Christmas in Canada the time.
The Rev Dr Lanel Guyton, who until less than a month ago was pastor of St Paul AME, returned from his new pastorate in New Jersey to assist Bishop Lambe in conducting the service.
He said the cross-section of dignitaries in the congregation, including Acting Premier Patricia Gordon, and former Cabinet Ministers including Hon Neletha Butterfield, was a great tribute in itself to the Dill\Weeks family.
He praised the hundreds of young people present for so attentively honouring their friend, and he exhorted them to emulate the best they could find in Malik, going forward.