Scores of relatives, friends, and law enforcement officers packed the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre on Two Mile Hill, St Michael, today to celebrate the life of the late Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mark Thompson, generally considered to be one of Barbados’ top cops.
Among those attending today’s funeral service and burial at the St James Cemetery were Minister of Social Care Steve Blackett; Acting Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith; former Commissioner of Police, Orville Durant and Principal of the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies Professor Eudine Barriteau.
Speaker after speaker recalled Thompson’s sharp intellect and the high level of professionalism and commitment which he brought to his chosen profession.
In a moving tribute to Thompson who was his boyhood friend, Commandant of the Regional Police Training Centre Senior Superintendent Sylvester Louis told the large audience that Thompson was blessed with an intellect which would have guaranteed him success in any area of study.
While noting that Thompson enjoyed a game of cricket, Louis drove the congregation to side splitting laughter when he recalled that Thompson had told him of an innings where he drove, hooked, square cut and leg-glanced a pacer of Wes Hall’s pace to a well played innings.
According to Louis, when asked how many runs he had made on that occsion, Thompson replied, “It was a well played innings of six runs.”
Louis further recalled that Thompson also liked singing such hymns as Through all the Changing scenes of Life even though he was not blessed with a good voice.
Once again, driving his audience to laughter, Louis said: “When Thompson enters heaven I would suggest that God encourages him not to sing up there.”
Inspector David Wiltshire, who was on Course 72 with Thompson, and Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police Erwin Boyce also paid glowing tribute.
In her tribute, Barriteau recalled that she came into contact with Thompson a mere three years ago, but over that period she recognised that he personified the highest standard of the Royal Barbados Police Force and brought a new professionalism to it.
Thompson who passed away on November 11 after a prolonged illness was buried at the St James Cemetery with full military honours.