Tevin Alexander, 15, and his cousin, Hakeem, 16—who had shown great promise in the field of sport, were cut down in the prime of their lives.
This was the sentiment expressed yesterday by several speakers at the funeral service for the boys at Daybreak Assembly, Coconut Drive, Morvant.
The teenagers were killed by police on June 9.
Principal of Belmont Boys’ RC Secondary Lucia Reyes joined a list of people who paid tribute to the budding athletes at the funeral service, which was punctuated by worshipping, singing of hymns like “Blessed Assurance” and giving thanks to God.
The coffins were placed close together. Hakeem’s coffin was decorated with red, white and black trimming and his body was dressed in a red blazer. Rev Ricky McClatchie conducted the service, which he labelled a “call” and “a celebration”.
Making reference to pupil Tevin, Reyes said: “He was never disrespectful. Some of his classmates who knew him as ‘Pops’ can testify to his football. I hope they will honour his memory. Live each day as your last.”
Speaking about Hakeem on behalf of the athletic fraternity, Vincent Nero, assistant coach at Cunupia’s Oasis Track Club and a history teacher at Belmont Boys’ also said: “I taught Tevin. Hakeem went to the National Carifta trials last year. He qualified. He blew everybody away when he went to the Bahamas.
“It was Easter weekend 2013. He won a medal in the 3000 metres in Bahamas. He was looking for bigger and better things.”
Among those who offered words of comfort to the grieving family were full gospel elders Ann Timothy and Lula Alexander. Alexander said: “It is sad to know they had to go that way. The joy of the Lord will continue to keep you.”
Sean Clarke sang a touching version of “He Raised Me Up”.
McClatchie said a special prayer for the Alexander clan and threw in a bit of good-natured picong, saying, “The number of them could even make a whole church.”
What family members said
Eulogist Lisa Alexander: “They were inseparable in life. We did the best we could. Hakeem was a happy and exciting individual. A natural athlete. He loved cricket. Track and field gave him the jewelry round his neck. She may have given him more.”
Speaking about her son, Tevin, she said: “He was football’s rising star. In the event he lost the use of his legs, he took up computer engineering. He loved music. Had he lived he would have gone to the Olympics.”
Commenting on their legacy, she said: “They lived as brothers. They will be loved by many and missed by many.” During her period of intense pain, she said she had drawn strength from the scripture, which said: “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh.”
Evelyn Battersby, Tevin’s grandmother said: “The best lawyer (not named) is on the case. Happy belated Father’s Day. The best gift you can give the heavenly Father is to give him your heart.”
Turning to her son, Sheldon Alexander, she said: “Sheldon loved his son. He loved his family. Encourage the family, although you may be tried like Job (Biblical character). Revenge comes from God. Remember joy cometh in the morning.”