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SKELLION -The preaching jeweller

image Clive ‘Skellion’ Lee at work.

It is always a day of celebration on (Feb. 17 at Tropical Jewellers upstairs the Heritage Mall on St. James Street, Montego Bay) where staff members would fete and entertain the boss Clive Lee affectionately known as Skellion. It will be the same thing in 2012 when the boss will be celebrating his 60th birthday. So far, it’s only a few patches of gray hair that would perhaps save anybody from losing a bet that Skellion is under 40 years old.

There are a number of good things which characterize the personality of Skellion. Many people know him as kind, helpful, co-operative, but never a stupid man. He is a pastor at the Montego Bay branch of Latter Day Saints church on Miriam Way in Montego Bay which boasts over 300 members. Skellion himself has been a member of that church for the past 19 years.

Many people also know Skellion as a die-hard Seba fan ever since that North Gully team came into existence in 1972. Seba could always depend on Skellion’s support in whatever capacity and he was always there for the team right around the island. As a Seba fan, the match which stands out most in his mind was when Seba had to come from three goals down to draw with Reno in a crucial Craven ‘A’ Premier League match at Jarrett Park in the 90s.

However, it would seem that most people know him for his skills as a jeweler for the past 43 years. It began in 1968 when Skellion was learning a skill with Trevor Maragh on Market Street in Montego Bay. By 1977, Skellion was good enough to open his own store which he established at Shop #19 on the City Centre Building. In 1981 he moved to Union Street and after 22 years he moved to the Heritage Mall.

Inside Skellion’s shop is a photo of his late friend Winston ‘Rockers Master’ Taylor who passed away three years ago. There are also photos of Nelson Mandela and Bob Marley.  Various denominations of the Jamaican paper monies are on also on display – from the fifty cent note of Marcus Garvey right back to Michael Manley on the thousand dollar bill.

“My motto is to learn to overcome tradition,” says Skellion. His explanation is that many things are wrong traditionally and people continue to do them claiming that their parents used to do them, such as smoking, drinking alcohol, using expletives, discussing your neighbours, among other things.

Skellion attended the Cascade Basic School, Corinaldi Avenue Primary and Albion All-Age. He remembers attending the famous Pick-A-Star shows at the Palladium  Theatre (Church Street) when he lived on nearby Dome Street  as a little boy.

He got the name Skellion after a skinny man who played billiards with him in Mandeville. He was just as good and skinny as this man so he was called Skellion too. “Mi nuh skellion again mi a onion now,” says a jovial Skellion.

Skellion has a son (Jason –29) and a daughter (Nicole – 26). He is extremely proud of his wife of 26 years, Carol.

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