Sat | Dec 4, 2021

Soldier’s marriage proposal sparks fireworks on waterfront

Published:Thursday | January 2, 2020 | 12:00 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer
Narmeo Walker falls to his knees to propose to his girlfriend Tashanna McCourty as thousands rang in the New Year on the Kingston waterfront.
Narmeo Walker kisses his fiancee ,Tashanna McCourty, after she said yes on New Year’s Day.

Narmeo Walker had always told his girlfriend of more than three years, Tashanna McCourty, that his marriage proposal to her would be a grand spectacle, and with bravery he demonstrated just that in front of thousands of Jamaicans converging on the waterfront in downtown Kingston to ring in the New Year.

Fireworks accompanied McCourty’s tears of joy as she watched her husband-to-be go down on one knee to pop the question on the VIP platform with pyrotechnics illuminating the background. They were later called to the main stage by MCs Miss Kitty and Ian ‘Ity’ Ellis for a re-enactment of the proposal.

Walker told The Gleaner in an interview on Tuesday that he became interested in McCourty when they first met in 2016 at a Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) recruitment drive.

He said that they both joined a WhatsApp group with other JDF hopefuls and it was then that he decided to take the plunge and message her privately.

“I sent her a message saying she has tantalising lips, majestic eyes and a curvaceous physique. ... Eventually, she came around and we started talking and started to call her and stuff and then when I got the call to go into training, I said to her, ‘When I come back, I’m gonna take you on a date,” the 27-year-old private said.

McCourty, 22, was not recruited.

Walker said that after nine months of training and subsequently being put on duty, he kept his promise and took her out in late 2017.

An optical adviser at Courts Jamaica, McCourty was at a loss for words initially amid the New Year proposal but managed to explain that Walker’s extreme determination broke down all the defensive walls she may have mounted to stall his advances.

“When he asked me to be his girlfriend, it took me a few days before I could say yes. Every day, this man would send me 150 or more messages before I could respond to any of them. He was there all the time trying to get into my life,” said McCourty, who grew up with her mother and five sisters.

Walker is ecstatic – and relieved – that she did not say no.

“I realised it was time to settle down and I finally found someone who motivates me to be a better person,” Walker told The Gleaner.

“I think relationships are failing because passion is not there. Arguments build up too fast and males follow up arguments. When she makes noise, I look at her and laugh,” he said, with McCourty by his side, confirming that the practice slightly annoys her.

Since his recruitment into the army, Walker said that he is often away from home for up to a week, but believes that the time apart has positively impacted his relationship.

“Whenever I’m not there, she would call me and complain that she wants me to come home,” said Walker, a self-confessed fan of romantic movies and Japanese anime.

“Whenever I go home, she would jump up and fly the grille and run come jump up on me. To me, it strengthens the relationship cause it makes her miss me more.”