Friday, April 12, 2024

Mourner waits for ticket


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It’s not so much that he loves funerals. Hartley Farmer loves people.
Farmer, 67, says he loves people so much, that he attends as many funerals as possible, whether he knows the deceased or not.
That explains why he has been camping out at Government Headquarters ever since plans for the state funeral of former Prime Minister David Thompson were announced.
He is patiently waiting to get his ticket since attendance will be by ticket only.
Farmer attends funerals of the high and the low.
He said that he attended the funerals of Governors General Sir Deighton Ward, Sir Winston Scott, Sir Hugh Springer, Dame Nita Barrow,  Lady Husbands, wife of Governor General
Sir Clifford Husbands, “the four-year-old who recently died from cancer, and the list goes on”.
He intends to be at Kensington Oval at the State Funeral on Wednesday.When the SATURDAY SUN team caught up with him yesterday at Government Headquarters, he had already been waiting patiently for over two hours “to see if the tickets would arrive”.
Dressed in  black, Farmer said “I feel his death. The same thing that happened to him could happen to anyone of us. We should live loving and caring because we are all God’s children.”
Farmer, who casually watched the comings and goings of those who had come to sign the condolence book, said he had already done his duties, having stood in the snaking line for over three hours on Thursday to see Thompson lying in state at the Parliament buildings.
“I have to be one of the first to get a ticket because I have to be there. I never knew him personally, but he was a good man. I loved to hear him speak; he was a really good speaker, so I have to be there,” he stated.
Farmer already has his garments chosen for that special day too.
“I have my black shirt, my black pants, my black and white shoes, a white tie and my black and white cellphone case ready for the funeral,” he said.
The spritely man, who is often seen preaching on City streets, insists: “I love people. Sometimes when I have time, I will take up one of my funeral leaflets, look at the person’s face, and sing the hymns from the funeral.
“I got a lot of clothes to wear and I gotta wear dem before de cockroaches eat them,” he said.
Farmer, who lives at the Salvation Army Hostel on Reed Street, The City, said he would fill in for anyone at a funeral.
 He has over 150 funeral pamphlets at home.


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