It was easy to hate Dr Roy Ibbott. He was pompous, loud mouthed, irritable and imposing – but not without purpose.
His personal sacrifice, hard work and knowledge led him to believe that most of the world was ignorant unless they conformed to his way of thinking and his mode of action. At the same time, he welcomed a challenge and would gladly succumb to a logical discussion ending in his famous hearty chuckle.
‘Doc’s’ academic and managerial achievements are known to many, but in the last 20 years of his life, it’s the people he touched and the friends he made that tell his story.
I knew of Roy for only some of his life after 45. We were married 1987-1999. I had his daughter Kamilah and a son, Omar. He wondered about having children at the age of 45, and whether he would live to see them grow up. I am happy he lived to see his son Omar become 18 in February, but he would miss his daughter turning 21 in April.
Roy has five other sons: Jorge, Illya, Kinte, Roddy and Dale. They are all successful and very intelligent young men.
Many men of intellectual greatness and in influential positions would remember Dr Roy Winston Ibbott and miss him terribly. He was top of his class in knowledge, ideas and organisation. Many, many women continue to shed tears. Roy was a good listener, counsellor and advisor. He liked a good gaff, was stimulated by bright come-backs, and loved the company of nice-looking gals.
Roy was ill for a while with his blood pressure, heart and acid reflux problems. His research and suffering have helped many change their eating routines and general lifestyle for better living. He was planning to go to the USA for more treatment, when at 3.05 am on Friday, March 6, 2009, Roy gave his last sigh and closed his eyes. After three days of not being able to sleep, he is now resting, away from the constant hustle outside his verandah of Channel 19 upstairs.
Kamilah Ibbott stood by her father as he lay shrouded and sweet scented. He didn’t want his body in a freezer. He didn’t want much fuss. ‘Bury me as soon as it can be arranged,’ he said to Kamilah when they spoke. He was laid to rest at the No 78 cemetery at 4 pm on Friday, March 6, 2009.
Much will be said about Roy for a long while.
His children will miss him always. He and his son Omar managed the Corentyne Community Television station – Channel 19. He was his daughter’s best friend. I miss him for them. He was always a better friend and father than husband, but he was a genuine, good-hearted person.
Roy is gone and at peace.
I pray for good relations and happy memories for all who knew and loved him.