Crosskill killed day before due to be baptised---priest
By Rickey Singh
June 23, 2002
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The Rev Al Miller of the Tabernacle Church, made the disclosure after an outpouring of love and moving tributes to the slain journalist, while delivering the sermon at the "Thanksgiving and Celebration Service" for the life of the 47-yar-old journalist, at the chapel of the University of the West Indies (Mona campus).
Elder brother, Darryl Crosskill and his younger and pet brother, Simon, openly wept as hymns he was known to have favoured, like "Amazing Grace" and "The Lord is my Shepherd" were sung by a congregation that included a wide cross section of Caribbean media and other persons from the Caribbean that was Hugh's beat.
Speaking on behalf of a contingent of some dozen Caribbean journalists who hasd flown in for the funeral, with the cooperation of BWIA and Air Jamaica, was the Barbados-based Caribbean journalist and close friend of Hugh, Rickey Singh.
Singh said that Hugh had "belonged to all of us, a Caribbean man, whose dream of a Caribbean united in a political federation died with him when he was so tragically shot to death but whose dream may yet be realised by his three children.
For the youngest of the Crosskill’s children, six-year-old Jamila, tears flowed from many as, held up by sister Ayanna and brother Joel, she so sweetly read with tear-filled eyes a brief note to "Dear daddy": "Dear daddy, I miss you and I hope you are okay. I want you to be safe with God. You are my dad and I love you and I want you to be safe, wherever you are"?
A victim of drug addiction, the former head of the CANA Radio service and also ex-head and pioneer of the daily 15-minute "'BBC Caribbean Report, Crosskill had told Rev. Miller that he would return to a normal family life and that of a Christian, only after he had convinced himself that he had indeed finally licked the habit which he had earlier appealed to others to resist, turning to the consumption of illicit drugs.
Rev. Miller, one of his regular counsellors said that he was overjoyed when Hugh finally turned up on the week that was to mark his sudden death to inform him he was now "ready to be baptised".
All the details were worked out, they prayed together and left with the understanding of the time and place for the baptism.
Then came the shocking news to Miller on that morning of June 7 that Hugh had been shot to death by a security guard at the medical complex where he was present at the time and the circumstances of which remain unclear.
The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) is expected to receive a report this week to determine whether or not a criminal charge should be brought against the security guard who was released from police custody last week after being extensively interrogated.
His wife Gillian Crosskill, from whom he was divorced as the drug addiction problem worsened, read selections from the Old and New Testament that she knew had special meaning to Hugh in earlier years.