The lives of several musicians have been claimed in plane crashes; which is probably the thought that crossed the minds of Minister Marion Hall and her team members last Wednesday when they had their own brush with death, while travelling on a chartered flight from St Martin to Anguilla.
Hall said that the door of the small propeller plane that they were aboard flew open mid-flight.
“A week before our scheduled travel, I told my manager that I don’t like small planes and his reply was: ‘We’re covered’, and I thought to myself, well Myles Munroe and Aaliyah were covered.”
In her recollection, the minister explains that the team that included her manager Delroy Escoffery, armor bearer/backup singer Coleen Henry, and band members Garfield ‘Gregg’ Henry, Randevon Patrick, Junior Burke and Odane Stephens, on seeing the plane, made jokes about its size, but in true Christian manner she prayed about it and also encouraged everyone to hold hands and called on the Lord to guide them safely before the start of their journey.
“I joined in on the jokes and was saying something about if anything I’d jump over our manager head. Also after the pilot showed us where to find the life jackets, I put one in my lap and then in my seat pocket,” she said.
Turn for the worse
According to Hall, three minutes into the flight, the top half of the plane’s door flew open leaving the passengers to believe it had broken off and it took a turn for the worse when the lower half opened only for them to see the crystal blue waters below.
“At that moment, I shouted at the pilot to tun roun’. Lan’ it! I thought about the 10 minutes that our manager told me the flight would last [to Anguilla] and I held that door till my hand hurt, and as we are about to land, we see where the top part of the door was coming back down as we about to land,” she said.
“The devil didn’t want us to come here but God ain’t bringing us to do this mission for us to die here and my armor bearer grabbed at it and we grabbed the band member shorts to hold him while he was trying to reach for it.”
The band members reported that the entire ordeal was like a movie scene.
Speaking to The STAR, the band’s bass player Junior Burke said he used all the strength he had in him to hold the lower half of the door.
“Me always ah see things like this inna show and at one point me give up pon life because me couldn’t catch the door.”
He continued: “But in the moment, I thought to myself that we are family, suh me say, alright me have to try lock this door, enuh.”
Garfield ‘Gregg’ Henry, another one Hall’s band members, said: “I tried to remain calm and record video; looking at everyone and at our manager trying to speak to the pilot (who kept looking around) to keep him calm.”
According to Henry, there were problems with the door to close before the flight took off, but because the indicator light turned off they trusted everything was secure.
“Now looking back at the tape, we realised how near we were to death.”
When The STAR asked Henry how everyone was coping he said: “Well, minister (Hall) is traumatised and we weren’t motivated to do anything; all of us are having flashbacks, especially watching and even hearing the sounds from the recording.”
Still, while the episode would have made for a rather unpleasant start to the summer, they are assumed to be in good spirit. The team conjured up the strength to minister at a prison the day after the flight disaster, and at the Landsome Bowl Cultural Centre on Saturday night.