The last original member of the Barbados Landship was laid to rest today.
Three months before what would have been Felix Husbands’ 102nd birthday, his body was led out of the St Leonard’s Anglican Church to his burial site in the churchyard.
Husbands’ niece Pauline Hall told those gathered at the funeral service that her uncle, who was born in Panama, was in the Cornwall at Carrington Village and the Queen Mary at Goodland’s Dock. He held the rank of MP (Military Police) and was featured at the Landship’s 150th anniversary celebration at the Barbados Museum.
“While I was paying a visit he asked ‘Do you know what MP stands for?’. Honestly and foolishly, I replied, ‘oh yes, Member of Parliament’. He looked at me for a minute and said ‘no, no, no, it means military police’ and then he brought out his sword. He was a proud member, and that was evident as they participated in his 100th birthday celebration where the Governor General Dame Sandra Mason was in attendance,” Hall said.
Giving insight into Husband’s life, she said the centenarian worked in the civil service as a field worker patching roads. She said he enjoyed his job and being able to make a contribution, no matter how small.
“He would often boast, ‘when we mend the road it was not like these fellas, it was done proper’,” Hall recalled.
Husbands retired from the public service in 1978. He and his wife Gwendolyn, who died in 2014 at age 92, had no children of their own but raised the children of family and friends. He took his niece Jaslyn into his care after her parents migrated to England.
In his later years, Husbands enjoyed listening to the radio, particularly enjoying programmes hosted by popular announcer Larry Mayers on Voice of Barbados (VOB).
Hall said the elderly man loved sweets, flying fish and bakes, and especially a tot of rum every day.
According to his niece, he had the blood pressure and pulse of an athlete and refused to use a walking stick, never wore glasses, and preferred not to take medication.
“Although Felix never attended church in his later years, he often said to Jaslyn when she was going to church on Sundays to ‘say hello for me’.
“Felix was very determined, at times stubborn, but a very loving man. He never wanted to be reminded of his age. He dressed well every day, and if you visited him you would think he was on his way out. He was very particular and tidy about his house. He would remove anything that in his opinion was out of place.
“Jas would spend many mornings searching for her car keys because, why? They were out of place on the table and were put away safely. He was good at negotiating, even a bath. Negotiations would start in the morning and into the night, even into the next day,” Hall said.
During the service, Paula Hinds sang Walk Around With Me in a touching tribute to Husbands.
Reverend Anderson Carrington of Black Rock Wesleyan Holiness Church reminded the congregation that people lived past the age of three scores and a ten, particularly because of the solid relationship they maintained with God throughout the years.
He said that while they would have encountered challenges along life’s journey, they leaned on the Lord for comfort, understanding and guidance along the way.
“This brother would have enjoyed his life, and he would have enjoyed it to the fullest. You cannot live a hundred years and tell me you don’t have good memories. I want young people to remember that God has given you a life and you must live this life according to his will and his purpose and you will be blessed,” Reverend Carrington said.