Tue | Jan 28, 2020

First Christmas without sniper dad - Major Trevor Martin’s family hosts smaller get-together without patriarch

Published:Tuesday | December 31, 2019 | 12:31 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer
The Martin family posing with a photograph of their breadwinner and disciplinarian, Major Trevor Martin, at their Christmas get-together on December 25. From right: David Martin; Trevor’s widow, Dayanne Martin; Trevor’s grandson, Dejan Martin; and Trevor’s son, Ricardo Martin.
Photo of Sharpshooter, Major Trevor Martin in his active days as a military man
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Christmas for the Martin family was always packed with fun and laughter, with the orchestrator, Major Trevor Norman Martin, playing Santa Claus to just about everyone.

This year, things were different. The family celebrated its first season without the elder Martin.

Son David told The Gleaner that it was a rough and reflective Christmas, and considering the joy Trevor normally brought to the family on New Year’s Day each year, January 1, 2020 may prove just as tough.

Martin, who was one of the original snipers of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) from the early 1960s, passed away on November 6 at the University Hospital of the West Indies from a series of complications, including a heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure. He was 73.

“Other than being the breadwinner, he was the disciplinarian and the moral compass,” David told The Gleaner yesterday. “We always had his presence in everything, like parent-teacher association meetings.”

“At Christmas, once he is up and running, you would really feel the festive season. Grand market was a family event. New Year’s, we would be on the waterfront in downtown Kingston, having cookouts or dinners, and everybody, including children who were not his, would get gifts from him. He was like a Santa Claus. People from all ‘bout would usually come to see him,” said David.

This year, the family hosted a much smaller Christmas gathering than the one ‘Santa’ would have opted for, but according to David, everyone took time out on that day to reflect on Trevor’s life, including his trailblazing career as a military man.

“He was a stalwart in the military,” David pointed out. “He was a forefront member of the JDF. Soldiers marched for him in England when he passed. He was an original sniper in the army. He did a lot!”

Affectionately called ‘Bagga’, Martin was born in Kingston and lived in Rollington Town, Mark Lane and then Wellington, before settling in Hellshire Heights in St Catherine.

He retired from the JDF in 2003.

Martin died leaving his widow Dayanne, four sons, one daughter, and grandchildren.

jason.cross@gleanerjm.com