By DR CAROLYN ROLLE
He went about his mission very quietly, unassuming, avoiding any public acclaim or limelight. He knew what he had been called to do by God and he carried out his mandate in an excellent way. He fed poor, hungry needy souls. His meals were not your average soup kitchen fare, which are sometimes not prepared in a spirit of excellence but in the presence of the news media and glaring cameras. Rather, they were planned, tasty and cooked with love. His fare was scrumptious and delicious, a smorgasbord which included peas and rice with salt beef, barbecued ribs, fried and baked chicken, potato salad, macaroni and cheese, coleslaw, freshly baked rolls and a variety of pastries.
I came to know Enoch "Junior" Hanna in the early 90s when he became a team member of the Ebenezer Mission Baptist Church Soup Kitchen which was organised by my mother of blessed memory, Deacon Clarabell Hanna Williams. His efforts there were the continuation of many years of philanthropic work in the community. Enoch's mantra was to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick, visit those in prison and be kind to strangers. He served without respect to nationality, social and educational status. He worked diligently along with the team of like minded volunteers to provide food and clothing to those deserving.
A pastry chef by profession, he used his meagre income to help fund his mission. His home in Pinewood Gardens was set amidst a grove of tropical fruits and vegetables which he shared lavishly with neighbours and friends. A bush medicine buff, he knew many remedies for common aches and pains and filled the prescriptions from his collection of medicinal plants which he grew in his backyard.
My younger brother Leslie considers him to be one of his greatest mentors. In a voice tribute, he described Enoch as selfless and caring, a good man. He has learned so much from Enoch and cannot name another man who has taught him what it truly means to serve God through one's ministry to others in a practical way. Leslie owns a truck and provided transportation for Enoch, usually on Thursdays, and together they collected contributed food items from Extra Value Food Stores, Consumer Meats and Milo B Butler and Sons Groceries. Leslie is bereaved Enoch's death and sees it as a personal loss.
For me, Enoch's commitment to God through his ministry to others was made blatantly clear one day when I had occasion to visit St John the Divine All Saints (AIDS) Camp on Lazaretto Road. In my role as field coordinator for the Social Work Programme at the University of the Bahamas, Nassau Campus, I met Enoch, bare back and sweating, scrubbing the kitchen floor. When I enquired what his business there was, he replied, "I was helping them out for years now. You know they are people too and they need help like everybody else, so I come every week to help clean, bake and cook for them."
Enoch was not an ordained church person. However, he without a doubt should be named among "the called". His light shone brightly so he did not have to spell out what he was doing. His passion inspired all who knew him. His led a life well lived and is deserving of God's eternal bliss. Enoch "Junior" Hanna. What a selfless human being!
• Enoch "Junior" Hanna died at the age 64 at the Princess Margaret Hospital on August, Saturday 10. He will be laid to rest this Saturday at 11am at the Lighthouse Fellowship Church of God Pinewood Gardens.