Sep 1, 2011, 2:05 PM
He died August 15, 2001 and was buried the next day at Janjanbureh his place of Birth.
In the years that came after 2001 a lot of people, intellectuals, friends, relatives and colleagues in and out of The Gambia, have all in remembering the deceased paid tribute and expressed condolence to his widow, family and relatives.
Among the notables that have done that is Mr. Sajo. K. Touray, former student of Armitage, and former minister of the Environment and Fishery etc. The letter of condolence was written 2003. It reads:
Please accept my sympathy for the death of Jay Saidy. I came to know about it when I was talking to Mr Ba Tarawaly on the phone. During our conversation, I requested Mr Tarawaly to extend my greetings to friends like Mr Jay Saidy. That was the moment he disclosed the sad news to me. My condolence is also extended to all members of Jay’s family including the Widow and of cause to all people of Georgetown in particular.
Jay was such a humble gentleman who was approachable by both old and young at all times. He had no enemies. He was friendly and kind hearted to everybody. A down-to-earth person he was. He often visited my office and home to discuss matters of common interest or matters relating to the development of Janjanbureh. In fact, I remember, he last visited me at home in New Jeshwang few days after returning from one of his overseas medical treatments in Germany in October, 2000.
Finally, I would say that I have never seen any person, on earth yet, who loved George Town / Janjanbureh / McCarthy more than or even equal to the way he did. Jay was attached to Janjanbureh to an extent that when he was on private or official missions to the Western / Northern / Southern part of the Gambia, he would still somehow or the other visited his beloved central part (Janjanbureh) before reporting back to Government / Sir Dawda Jawara in Banjul.
So, you made appropriate decision to bury his remains near his dear mother in George Town cemetery, the sight he visited million times, alone, whenever he traveled to that part of our country. Had you made a mistake of burying him at another place, his body would defiantly jump out of the grave at midnight and travel to George Town where Jay was born and there he belongs in totality.
He was, also, one of those people committed to the neck to organize Janjanbureh cultural festivals, bi-annually. And he convincingly played his part with sincerity, perfection and intelligently, too, using his extremely rich or wealth of knowledge of not only George Town but the whole of M. I. D.
One would entitle this letter thus - “Jay Saidy The George Townian”
May Jay Saidy’s soul rest in God’s perfect peace - Amen, Amen with tears on my eyes. This prayer will be accepted because we (all Gambians) know for certain that Mr. Jay Saidy was at all times as peaceful as peace itself, to the highest degree, whether during executing his duties at the State House or at the layman’s level in towns, villages and in streets.
Mrs. Vice President, you know, I know and everybody knows that we have lost a neat gentleman, kindhearted man and a brilliant man or journalist too. Who will now tell us about George Town history, etc. etc? Has he written anything which may be lying down there? I told him to write some history on M. I. D and colonial days during our trips to George Town, organized by Ex-pupils of Armitage in 1998 and 1999. But I am not sure whether he had started or not.
Thank you, in advance, for passing this condolence to your family and the people of Janjanbureh.
SAJO K. TOURAY
Note:This article was first published in The Point in August 2009.