It was a rousing send-off on Saturday for late retired Senior Superintendent of Police Hector “Bingy” Whyte.
Whyte, who served almost every major division of the constabulary, which he joined in 1969 and retired from in 2007, died on October 5 after a brief illness. He was 77.
Speakers at his liturgy of thanksgiving at St Jude’s Anglican Church in Stony Hill, St Andrew, hailed the popular crime fighter, rolling out accolade after accolade about the colourful and meaningful life that he led.
Anthony Pearson remembered his friend, among other things, as enigmatic, well-intentioned, a workaholic, and “quite a character”.
Pearson articulated anecdotes of Whyte’s domino playing days, how he looked out for his colleagues in the constabulary, even being at the forefront of the construction of a canteen and recreation area at the then Mobile Reserve, and provided full support for wife Waveny, with whom he had also undertaken charitable causes, which included treats for the young and old.
By police records, Pearson said that Whyte had received 17 commendations to his credit.
“Old policemen never die. They simply get station bail in their own surety,” Pearson said in his parting shot.
Senior Superintendent of Police Marlon Nesbeth, who described his former colleague as a “true hero and a patriot”, said Whyte paid his dues.
“Jamaica was a much better place when he was working, than now. He was always up front with what he felt Jamaica needed to do and he made such an impact on my life,” Nesbeth said.
Delivering a tribute on behalf of the Jamaica Police Officers Association, Sergeant Tania Layne emphasised how he was “a sparrow when he is broken, but an eagle when he flies.” He was also an “everlasting shoulder”, she said.
A message from the commissioner of police was also read by Deputy Superintendent Donald Francis, who described Whyte as “a true crime fighter who distinguished himself in many ways,” while lauding Whyte’s family for “loaning him to us [the constabulary]”.
Lay reader George Gunning, in delivering the sermon, acknowledged Whyte’s 38 years of dedicated service to the constabulary and Jamaica, but also lamented that Jamaica and the wider world had lost their way with too many killings, many of them of young people. He implored those in attendance to turn their lives to Christ in the search for better.
The service was also coloured by the rendering of songs by the Jamaica Constabulary Force Choir, and Bible verses by attorney-at-law Sheryl Markland, and Cavel Whyte.
His remains were interred at Sunset Burial Park, Shooter’s Hill, in St Andrew, after an official police escort of the flag-draped casket from the church.
Many of Whyte’s retired former colleagues came out for the salute, among them senior officers Keith “Trinity” Gardner, Leon Rose, OC Aird, Altemoth “Paro” Campbell, Delbert Heath, Clinton Laing, HP Brown, Neville Wheatley, Talbert White, Calvin Benjamin, Samuel “Sammy” Heron, and Harry Daley.