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Last wish of Johnny Barnes: share the love

Johnny Barnes

Johnny Barnes’s final wish was that Bermuda “share love and kindness with each other”.

Mr Barnes’s widow, Belvina, yesterday revealed the Bermuda icon’s farewell message to the island, which he composed before he passed away.

In his message to “the dear citizens and visitors of our beautiful island home”, the goodwill ambassador who brought love, cheer and blessings to the thousands of people he greeted every morning for 40 years from Crow Lane roundabout, said: “I am sending you special farewell greetings of love, peace and blessings. May Jesus, Rose of Sharon and the desire of all nations, bring the fragrance of his love into your hearts today and throughout the days to come.

“Time is marching on and I thank God and praise Him for allowing me to see my 93rd birthday on June 23, 2016.

“Since December 2015, my strength and mobility declined. The body just became tired of the long hours and strenuous activity waving and greeting the commuters for approximately forty years, for many hours, from Monday to Friday.

“My mind and heart would have liked to continue at the roundabout forever, sharing love, cheerfulness, happy wishes

and prayers with each of you. However, our Loving Heavenly Father knows best, so He said, ‘Johnny, it is time for you to rest’.”

The message went on to outline “Johnny’s Final Wish”.

“May my absence from the bench at the roundabout and my statue, The Spirit of Bermuda, remind you to share love, and kindness with each other.

“Many thanks to all for your kindness, gifts, and tokens of love. I cherished the fun times waving with the different groups and organisations.

“A very special thanks to Desmond Fountain and the support of the Spirit of Bermuda Foundation Trust, The Centre Solutions Bermuda Limited, Zurich International Bermuda Limited Centre and the hundreds of donors for their extraordinary leadership and support for The Spirit of Bermuda bronze statue. Have a great day and may God bless you all. I love you! I love you! I love you! Johnny.”

Mr Barnes passed away in the early hours of Saturday morning, July 9, with his wife Belvina by his side.

Mrs Barnes said of her late husband: “After retirement, the motivating factor of Uncle Johnny’s life continued, as always, which is a wonderful spirit of love.

“This is the memory that those around the world will hold in their hearts forever.

“On the Holy Sabbath Rest, July 9, 2016, Johnny, John J. Barnes, breathed his last breath. He rests in the hope of the resurrection at the coming of Jesus.

“We extend a heartfelt thank you for the kindness of our community and those internationally, who have extended loving condolences. God bless you all!”