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Mass funeral at Fancy – wonderful example of people working together

Mass funeral at Fancy – wonderful example of people working together


Fri, Jan 30, 2015

Photos and article contributed by: Donald De Riggs

The Rock Gutter tragedy brought together a large section of the Vincentian community in terms of empathy and sympathy for those families who lost their children, following the brake failure that caused a minibus {{more}}to plunge over an embankment and into a rough Atlantic Ocean, claiming the lives of seven innocent youths, two of whom have not been retrieved.

The outpouring of concern has come from all quarters, led by Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves. Since the tragedy on Monday, January 12, 2015, condolences have been expressed by all to whom the sad news was conveyed and the Fancy community, which was the home of the young departed souls, joined in the preparations for a mass funeral, held on Sunday, January 25.

A massive tent, normally used for religious crusades, was erected on the playing field, as no church in Fancy would have been able to accommodate the thousands of mourners who came to show their final respect for those who made an untimely departure from this planet.

Normally unnoticed, but who played a very important role are the volunteers, who set up the many tents; the traffic cops, who were actually on the road before first light to ensure the smooth flow of vehicular traffic in and out of Fancy; the sound engineers, who made sure that everyone could hear the proceedings; media technicians, who provided live coverage; security officers, to ensure the safety of mourners and dignitaries; the ladies who decorated the makeshift tent church; the truck drivers who brought the chairs and volunteers who arranged them; the various cooks, who prepared the nutritious meals for the officials; the shuttle bus drivers, the ushers, funeral workers; the heavy equipment operators, who prepared the road to the new cemetery; the landscapers, who prepared the new resting place for those departed; NEMO, which was on the scene to help manage this crisis affecting the families, including those who were injured; the RRL, who were always within ‘striking distance’ in case emergency communications services were needed … it was a united effort to bid farewell to the young departed souls.

Throughout the night, vehicles trickled into the village and by 8 a.m. onwards there was a constant stream of vehicular and pedestrian traffic into the village, managed admirably by traffic officers using two-way radios from critical junctions to ensure unhindered access and exit to and from Fancy. Special mention and commendation must be showered on several Fancy residents, notably Maxwell “Tajoe” Francis, who supplied the nation with live reports shortly after the accident occurred and who was instrumental in preparing and coordinating the temporary accommodation for the numerous mourners for the funeral service. Elna Michael and a team of chefettes and Ferdie’s restaurant, who prepared a healthy meal for the government officials, dignitaries and relatives of the deceased.

The Rainbow Radio League Inc – RRL joins in wishing all affected families peace and comfort in this time of mourning and a speedy recovery to those who were injured. Trust in the Lord and be strong. He knows and understands everything and will also comfort you and heal your broken spirit.