While the tears flowed, Christine Hannays, daughter of the late Justice William Guy Courtenay Hannays, said he was “a giant among men.” She also vowed to honour his legacy by constantly striving for success.
On the heels of her mother Joanne Joseph-Hannays, Christine Hannays eulogised her father before a packed congregation who had gathered to celebrate Hannays’s life at St Theresa’s Roman Catholic Church, Sixth Avenue, Barataria, yesterday.
Among those present and paying tribute to Hannays, 59, were Chief Justice Ivor Archie, Finance Minister Larry Howai, Justice Joseph Tam and Justice Vashist Kokaram.
They were joined by Attorney General Anand Ramlogan, Senior Counsel Israel Khan, Gerard Johnson, general manager, Caribbean Country Department, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and aeronautical engineer David Robinson, son of late president ANR Robinson.
The chief celebrants were Fr Elton Letang and Bishop Clive Abdulah.
During Christine Hannays’ tribute it was evident she was still grappling with the demise of her father. He died on May 25 while playing a game of cricket at a recreation ground in St Joseph.
She said: “I have learned life is not perfect. I have been burdened with thoughts that could best convey who he was. There are no words that can convey a man as original and beautiful as he was. A man who danced to the beat of his drum.”
She added: “He was a deeply spiritual man. He lived life fully. He was extraordinary. He possessed the wisdom of the ages. He was my mentor, critic, teacher and worthy opponent. Our relationship was a volatile one. But we loved each other fiercely.”
Admitting she would have to continue navigating her way through life’s hostile terrain, Christine Hannays said: “I will ask myself, ‘If daddy were here, what would he have done?’ I am my father’s daughter. I will continue to honour you daddy.”
During Joanne Joseph-Hannays’s tribute, she, too, confessed to having difficulty saying goodbye to her spouse. She said: “He loved Christine and me. He sometimes joked I loved him too much to ever leave him but now he is the one who has left me. We were supposed to grow old together. He was my rock, anchor and the love of my life. I don’t know how to say goodbye and quite frankly, I do not want to. But I know for his sake and as much as my own I have to learn to let it go.”
She dedicated singer James Blunt’s “Goodbye My Lover” to his memory.
His elder sister, Susan Hannays-Abraham, said as adolescents “she taught him how to dance in public”. As adults, he stepped up and became “a guide, protector and friend”.
Consensus among a battery of prominent speakers was his consummate passion for cricket and abiding admiration for his professionalism.