- The true account of the death of popular JUTA operator, Winston Sharpe
Winston Sharpe was a great man, an exceptional friend, a loving husband, and an even better father. Unfortunately, however, his family will have to fill the gaping void left, after discovering that the popular businessman and JUTA operator, after just a day into the New Year, took his own life in his two-storey family home at Rosemount Gardens, St. James.
Having worked as a JUTA tour bus operator for over 35 years, Sharpe was the paragon of professionalism and excellence, so much so that among many in the JUTA and tourism fraternities, his reputation was beyond reproach. Reaching out to his family, the Western Mirror soon learnt that none of the good things we had heard about the 59-year-old Sharpe were exaggerated. He was truly a man of astounding character.
“He was a very strong family man, a good husband, and a good father,” Reverend Conrad Pitkin, the family pastor who spoke on behalf of the grieving family, told the Western Mirror. “He was really a good person, and was well-respected. He was never contentious, and was always kind and very friendly – traits all his colleagues can attest to,” Rev. Pitkin added, citing that over the years he had known Sharpe, he had never found him to be anything but consistently what others thought him to be – a man of sound character.
Despite Sharpe’s many strengths, they were not enough to prevent him from plunging to the depths of depression about six months ago, according to Reverend Pitkin. It seems he never quite found his way out. “He got really depressed,” Reverend Pitkin said, “and as a result, we tried a number of things. Every method you could think of, we tried it to offer him the help he needed.” Pitkin informed this newsroom that his and Sharpe’s relationship was a very good one, as they were friends, and had been for a very long while. This, Pitkin relayed, prompted him to visit Sharpe on New Year’s Day, to talk to him, pray with him, and just be there for him.
Quizzed as to how Sharpe was at the time of his visit, Pitkin said he seemed well. “He was fine when we talked, so surely, we couldn’t have seen that this would have had such a tragic result.”
On January 2, 2018, it is reported that Sharpe got up, as he usually did for work, and went about his usual morning routine. About 6:30 that morning, while Reverend Pitkin was out for a morning walk, he received a troubling call from Mrs. Sharpe. She had gone to check on her husband, only to find his lifeless body between the master bedroom and the bathroom, with a single gunshot wound to his chest cavity. His licensed firearm was also seen lying next to him.
INACCURATE, HARMFUL REPORTS
Upon the public’s discovery of Sharpe’s death, a number of news outlets relayed varying accounts of what transpired. All these accounts were rejected by the grieving Sharpe family. “There are no truths to those reports,” explained Rev. Pitkin. “There was no gunshot wound to his head, nobody heard a gunshot and went to investigate. Those are all inaccurate,” the family pastor added. He continued: “People should try to get facts. This misinformation that has been floating around out there has further hurt the family. It would help a great deal if people would have taken the time out to really get the story as is, as this would help the family, not hurt them further as the other reports have done.”
With such a tragic end to such a great family man, Rev. Pitkin expressed that more than anything right now, the family would like to be left alone; they don’t want to be bothered, and just want to have the true story out there.
“The family is responding well to counselling right now,” Pitkin added, “and it really helps when you are a Christian – it makes things a lot easier, as you understand that God is always with you. The church family is also supporting them too,” the Reverend Pitkin concluded.
Garfield Williamson, President of JUTA, when contacted by the Western Mirror, pointed out that they were all shocked. “We are shocked, very shocked. Sharpe was an outstanding member. He represented the organization exceptionally well by how he carried himself. He always tried to do his best for the organization and it really is a great loss. To say that he was one of our more loved members is an understatement. We will truly miss him, and will do what we can to assist,” Williamson said.
As for his family, they wish for him to be remembered as the loving, kind, and caring person that he was. Most of all, they are asking to be kept in our prayers.