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North Leeward gives Stuart Louie grand send-off

North Leeward gives Stuart Louie grand send-off

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Stuart Louie had planned to host a Christmas party for the children of Rose Bank and surrounding villages on Friday, December 14.

Instead, two days after the intended event, it was the members of the community, Louie’s friends, relatives, and the children he loved, who turned out at the Rose Bank hard court to bid him a final farewell.{{more}}

Rudy, as he was affectionately called, was gunned down on November 30 at Gibson Corner, just outside of Kingstown.

He was 39 years old.

His funeral took the form of an open-air service, and had an aura of celebration, despite the many red eyes and occasional wails in the crowd, as individuals reflected on the life of a community leader, who will be missed not only by the persons in his immediate circle, but by those whose lives he touched through his promotional activities and community service.

Moving tributes were rendered by young and old, including hymns from soloists and choirs, and a dance special by two youngsters who performed to the John King social commentary “How many more (must die)?”.

Louie’s long time friend Fitzroy Granderson sang “People Need the Lord”.

Speaker after speaker reminisced on the exploits of Louie, an avid sports player and fan, who at one time managed the soca group “Roses Crew”, then moved into organizing cultural events, and extra- curricular activities for children.

A close friend, Pastor Conliffe Haywood, who delivered the exhortation, admonished the congregation to live fruitful lives, by putting God first, walking in love with each other, and to realize that every individual was born for a purpose.

“Stuart accomplished his purpose here on earth.

“I am saying to you the people, … let this death mean something to us. Let it take us back to the days … where there are certain values we must never let them depart from us … There are some values we still need to keep.

“Let this death bring Rose Bank to a place where we will all join together and say forward together in this small community.”

Haywood challenged the congregation to make the most of the rest of their lives. This, he said, began with a relationship with God.

One speaker noted that if Louie had a say, he would have wanted his casket lifted high, and that he should be carried to his final resting place with singing and jubilation.

“Because that was the type of person he was,” the speaker said.

And, as if not to disappoint, friends of the deceased took turns carrying his casket on their shoulders for the trek, which took an extended period of time, due to the thousands who proceeded ahead and behind the pallbearers, with musical accompaniment from the well-known Rose Bank boum drum group.

As his casket was lowered into the hole and dirt thrown on top, the uncontrollable crying and screams filled the cemetery as loved ones consoled each other and bid farewell to a stalwart in the community, who many agree was “gone too soon”.

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