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Appeal made at Memorial Service for Vincentians to live better with one another

Appeal made at Memorial Service for Vincentians to live better with one another

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An appeal has been made for Vincentians to live better with one another.

While making remarks at a national remembrance service, held on December 24, for the 12 persons who perished during last year’s December floods, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves made the appeal for neighbourly love.{{more}}

Gonsalves said that while remembering the lost loved ones, persons should also remember the survivors of the ordeal, as well as the individuals, organizations and countries that in some way contributed to the rescue, recovery and rehabilitation process over the past year.

“And we have to live better with one another, we not living good enough with one another, we need to do it better,” the Prime Minister admonished the congregation gathered at St Mary’s Anglican Church at Pembroke.

“Arnhim (Eustace) and I should live better with one another; and the churches and the people inside the very churches should live better with one another….

“We have to do better and you know that we can do better and let this remembrance day say to each of us in our individual and collective lives do better not just with words and I think today while we are here, I think that each of us should say at some time lord we adore we love you I confess my sins, and I regret that I have trespassed against others and I thank you….

“I want to ask as part of the remembrance and as part as where we are going forward, we can’t have a formalistic remembrance. We have to show our faith in deeds because it is through deeds that faith is made complete,” he added.

Pastor Dr George Frederick, who brought the afternoon’s sermon, exhorted the listeners to take stock of their lives, before it is too late.

“Prioritize your life; none of us has a guarantee of what tomorrow is going to bring….

“Take some time out to visit older people, talk to them, connect with them, connect with the youths….

“Life is not to be taken for granted. It is our attitude that does things to us….”

The service saw the families, friends, members of parliament and Cabinet, as well as religious leaders from various denominations congregate to pay tribute to the fallen, in song, prayers and praise.

Portions of Scripture were read by Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace, Rose Bank resident Kennard King and Terence Haynes.

Other religious leaders offered prayers for the families of the deceased and missing, for protection against disasters, and for the nation. The bell of the church was rung for each person as his or her name was called by Minister of Ecclesiastical Affairs Maxwell Charles.

Following the service, members of the congregation journeyed in a solemn march to Marty’s gas station, where the candles were placed, songs sung and persons prayed in the area where the body of Pembroke resident, 19-year-old Kelsia James, was discovered one year ago.

Earlier in the day, church bells tolled, sirens wailed and Vincentians observed a minute of silence for the nine persons who died, and the three whose bodies have not been recovered, after persistent rains caused flooding and landslides, wreaking havoc on the island, between the evening of December 24 and the morning of December 25.

Apart from James, last year’s tragedy claimed the lives of her niece, three year-old Shalani Headley, Desmond Wilson, Raymond Gonsalves, Walsy Nanton, Harna Nanton, Bernard Nanton, Yowanie Nanton/ Bartholomew, and Hazel Baptiste.

Those missing and presumed dead are Josel Small, Sheila Edwards and Inka Jack.(JJ)

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