Fri | Apr 12, 2024

The SAJ pays tribute to Frank Gonzales

Published:Tuesday | February 6, 2024 | 12:06 AM
Frank Gonzales
Frank Gonzales

MEMBERS AND staff of the Shipping Association of Jamaica (SAJ) mourn the passing of Frank Gonzales, a cherished colleague and friend. Gonzales, who began his journey with SAJ as a relief bearer on October 1, 2018, before transitioning to the role of a logistics clerk on December 3, 2018, was an indispensable part of the SAJ team.

He was later appointed as a permanent bearer, a position he held until his passing last week. His dedication to his work was noted by his colleagues, who remember him fondly for his infectious smile and positive demeanour.

SAJ CEO Trevor Riley, reflecting on his time working with Gonzales, said, “I have received several calls from members who had met Frank in the pursuit of his duties. Everyone who called expressed their deep sense of loss about a person who impressed them with his jovial spirit, respectfulness and professionalism. I had the same experience with Frank and very much regret his passing. Above all, I grieve for his family and his young child who will grow up with insufficient memories of a decent, wonderful parent. I join with the whole team in praying that his soul will rest in peace and for God’s comfort for his grieving family, friends and colleagues.”

The association’s deputy general manager, Terrence Brooks, shared, “Frank joined us in 2018 through an entity that provided bearer services. He impressed during the brief stint as he displayed diligence, efficiency and other admirable qualities. Considering that we did not have a vacancy for a bearer at that time, he was recruited and trained a logistic clerk, to keep him close because of the promise he showed. He was contracted as bearer not long afterwards and eventually, he was made a permanent member of staff. We were delighted to observe his growth and he was well on his way to fulfilling that promise.

Dionne Mason-Gordon, operations manager – members services, said “Words fail me at this time … still in shock. Frank was one of my first reports when he started as a messenger at SAJ, and what I will say is, Frank was always smiling and respectful. I can’t recall seeing Frank angry or saying no … always ‘Yes, Ms Gordon. Sure, Ms Gordon’.”

“There’s no wrong way to grieve, there are no words to convey how terrible this is. You are in my prayers,” said Dexter James, expressing his condolences.

Shamara Hall painted a picture of his lively personality, sharing, “Frank was full of life, upbeat and always smiling. He could be having the worst possible day and still find a reason to smile. Frank loved life, lived life, and was full of life. He was adventurous and just found a reason to always celebrate.”

Hall continued, “He was always willing to help in any situation and you could count on him to get the job done. He matched all energies, good or bad, with a warm smile. He was kind, humble, and respectful. Frank loved his family and had big dreams for his son, Legend. Oftentimes when scolded or reprimanded, he would just smile and walk away. He was such a gentle soul, and his presence will truly be missed. His memories will forever be etched in my mind and in my heart. He was loved and appreciated for all his efforts. Walk good, Frank.”

Marsha Raffington-Christian, who worked closely with Gonzales, shared her memories: “Frank was a very easy-going person who was always smiling. I remember the first day he came as the relief bearer; we saw an enthusiastic young man who had potential. He quickly became our go-to relief bearer. He loved his job and was always willing and ready, even if it meant him going to the same place twice in a day. He was a happy individual, and his memory will live on.”

The loss of Frank Gonzales leaves a void in the SAJ family, but his legacy of positivity, dedication, and warmth will be remembered by those who had the privilege of working alongside him. The SAJ managing committee, leadership team and staff offer their condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues during this difficult time.