By: Spokesman Newsroom
BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (Thursday 4th November 2021)-Well known public figure, 54-year old attorney-at-law and former President of the St.Kitts-Nevis Football Association (SKNFA) Anthony Lesroy Johnson was laid to rest following a ceremony which featured what appeared to be a marathon of sentiments shared in the presence of scores of individuals from all walks of life who gathered at the Warner Park Stadium on Tuesday 2nd November 2021 for the funeral service.
His son Shabazz Johnson, in delivering the eulogy, expressed “I’m still trying to figure out how he was so many things to so many different people. Everywhere I go, I’m now bombarded with persons reminiscing on the kind acts experienced through his hands…”
A highlight of the service was a song tribute done by well-known entertainer Maurice ‘EK’ Flanders of Real Right Entertainment with a rendition of the tune ‘People Like You’, originally done by reggae artiste Gramps Morgan. Many people found the song to be a fitting in saluting the type of person Johnson was.
“I’ve heard up there the streets are made of gold, And when you get there, there’s a hand to hold, I believe when your days down here are through, There’s a place up there for people like you,” are the lyrics of the chorus.
Shabazz told that his father was “born into humble circumstances” on the 12th March 1967 to mother Suzanna Agatha Johnson who became famous for her homemade tamarind jam, sugar cake and other treats which were a hot sell in her local Newtown community. His father Cedric Edmond Johnson was a linesman at the sugar factory and a part-time butler who succumbed to sudden ill in 1979 Johnson.”
“Perhaps it was this humble beginning that manifested into his desire to remain humble while achieving great things. He would often recount some of his life lessons fed to him by his extremely supportive mother. For instance: ‘Don’t grudge nobody for dey tings ‘cause you don’t know how dey get it.’ Despite his humility, he was firm in his beliefs,” he stated.
He talked about his father’s twenty-five (25) year legal career which spanned the borders of Tortola, BVI to St.Kitts-Nevis and even to Montserrat.
“The pinnacle of his legal career saw him pool together a formidable force in the firm of Johnson and Associates, and while he wasn’t physically with us yesterday to celebrate the highly anticipated fifth anniversary, his core values of honesty and integrity will remain with each and every member of the firm,” he noted.
According to Shabazz who is also a lawyer, his father “took on the role of boss as if though we were all his children, standing by to celebrate every birthday, every anniversary, every childbirth, every wedding. In fact, while many males shy away from their responsibility as fathers, my father embraced his with reverence. This is a well-known fact. Despite the hard shell of male egos that tend to complicate relationships at times, our mutual love was never in question. The sacrifices associated with my own personal development will always be remembered.”
He continued: “While he was a father to me, he was a father figure to countless others, a friend, a mentor, a sponsor. I’m still trying to figure out how he was so many things to so many different people. Everywhere I go, I’m now bombarded with persons reminiscing on the kind acts experienced through his hands, whether it be the fellows who met me the other day and said ‘Boy, you farda is who buy us we set ah bikes enuh’. They could even remember the brand new box that they came in, and any male would remember that was a particularly touching event for them as a child craving such a gift.”
Attorneys, footballers, fete goers, vendors, performers and politicians were included on the list of those whose lives his father touched.
“Whether it’s the senior attorneys who would recall the support and advice given during their time as juniors right up to their seniority or the formal steps taken to first or even second their bar call. Whether it be the footballers, the referees and other members of the football fraternity who he became bonded to through a mutual passion for the sport whether it be the aspiring or seasoned politicians whose success could be attributed to his mentorship, orchestration and influence. Whether it be the fete goers, the vendors, the performers that were able to smile at the end of an Inception Fete or a Breaking Dawn event, whether it be the persons who experienced his heartiest laughter or a simple greeting in passing, he was never afraid to sacrifice.”
Shabazz shared: “I must admit it was often difficult at times to support all of his various ambitions knowing that it came with a direct cost to his personal health. It was never easy witnessing firsthand the detrimental effects of many missed meals as a result of a busy schedule but at the end of it, it’s as though servitude to others is what made him happy; it’s what he lived for.”
He continued: “He strived to help everyone but found it sometimes difficult to help himself. He clearly had a goal to reach to the top but on his way up, he never left out anyone; forever down to earth. He led by example through his tireless work ethic, through his unshakeable integrity, through his deep faith in God and his intense love for family and friends. It’s no wonder then that my father had no shortage of people who loved and truly cared for him. It’s a telling testament of his character.”
Sabazz recalled their conversation “on the day before his passing where his spirit was such that one would have never known he was at his end. I am told that on the fateful day, in addition to mentioning my name during his final hours, he gave a nod and thumbs up ‘Take care of everybody’ he said. He’s gone far too soon and the loss of this incredibly gifted man is made even more heartbreaking by the promise of what else he might have accomplished had he also had the gift of time.”
The late Anthony Lesroy Johnson was buried at the Springfield Cemetery in Basseterre.
He passed away on 3rd October from an illness.