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Rasum laid to rest

Rasum laid to rest


The inclemency of the weather was not enough to deter the many persons who turned out last Saturday, March 10, at the Marriaqua Methodist Church to honour the life of the late Gerard ‘Rasum’ Shallow.{{more}}

Family, friends, fellow musicians, parliamentarians, community members and fellow educators all packed the church, while others were forced to peer through windows and doors trying to catch a glimpse of the proceedings.

Shallow a former musician, educator and Senator under the New Democratic Party (NDP) administration succumbed to a heart attack on March 4 at the age of 51.

The many who paid tribute to Shallow included sister Lueven Shallow Clement who referred to her brother as a humble human being.

“Anyone who knew him knew he had an infectious smile. Before you heard his voice, you saw his teeth and you know that was my brother,” Clement said.

Of his many passions in life, she referred to her brother’s relationship with his wife Gailene, who up to the time of his passing had been together 35 years, 18 of which they shared in holy matrimony.

That union produced two children.

Shallow was most noted for his contribution to the Calypso artform. However, according to Clement, his singing career began as a youngster.

“My brother’s musical career didn’t begin only when his name transformed to Rasum as most of you know,” she explained.

He followed in the footsteps of his parents, both of whom sang in the church choir, she said.

“So singing came natural.”

She said that she remembered him most as being a community person, motivator and mediator.

“He would never let you walk away angry,” Clement said.

His contribution to education spanned 25 years, having started when he began teaching at the Cane End Government School, and at the time of his death, at the St Clair Dacon Secondary.

“As we mourn the loss, let’s just reflect on his life. I know today is a day of sadness and mourning and sorrow, but also I am thinking that my brother is peeping in and saying what is the big fuss about.”

“He was loved by so many people…he was on loan to us, he has paid his debt and so God has called him home to a higher power,” she said.

Among those who paid tribute to Shallow were former Calypsonian and now Senior Education Officer Carlton ‘CP’ Hall, and the staff and students of the St Clair Dacon Secondary.

A musical interlude by young and coming calypsonians, including Orandi ‘Bomani’ Charles and Shernelle ‘Skarpyon’ Williams, was rendered on behalf of the Calypsonian Association. X-A-Dus, a band with which Rasum was lead singer, provided musical accompaniment for the funeral service.

Gerard ‘Rasum’ Shallow was laid to rest at the Dumbarton cemetery. (DD)