“We are not only losing our children to violence but we are losing them morally and spiritually.”
Former Anglican dean Fr Knolly Clarke made this statement during the farewell service for Jemimah Agard Clarke at Holy Trinity Cathedral, Port of Spain, yesterday.
Jemimah, five, died by drowning at a Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) pool, at Wrightson Road, Port of Spain, last Monday. Among those present were Jemimah’s mother Jamilia Forde and scores of grieving relatives.
“We are losing our children in a number of ways. Just look at footballer (Marvin Phillip). We are losing them through carelessness by caregivers. We are losing them in so many ways. Just look at the two brothers. The elder was 15. It was not just a loss in terms of the physical. We lost the two of them a long time ago. It is a wake up call for all of us.”
Clarke also said it was the first time he felt compelled to bless the children in a congregation at a funeral service.
He said, “I am very much concerned about the accidents and tragedies. What about Akiel Chambers? That is why I called them before me. It moved me when I saw those pictures of the little girl.”
Zeroing on social media and its misuse, Clarke said, “We live in an age where we need modern technology. Why are we allowing children to do their own thing? They are using modern technology in the wrong way. You can’t go up on the Internet and rip down pornography. It could lead to liaisons that are negative to your development.”
Clarke also challenged young men to be responsible for their children’s welfare and safety. Commenting on the tragic death of his brother Asquith Clarke in May 2007, he said, “They have not solved the murder of my brother Asquith Clarke. As I told Jemimah’s mother, I know the pain you are going through. Everytime I pass by I feel sad. He lived opposite the cinema in Tunapuna. It is about seven years and we have not heard anything. Nobody told us anything. We did not hear about any leads or anything.”
YOUNG LIVES LOST:
n Footballer Marvin Phillip has lost his ten-month-old son Maitai Phillip. The child was taken to the Chaguanas District Hospital after being found unresponsive in a car seat at a day-care centre but when the family got there, the child was already dead.
n Quelly Ann Cottle lost her son Simeon after he bled to death during a C-section on March 1.
n Morvant resident Michelle Holder is the mother of nine-year-old Jadel Holder and Jamal Braithwaite, 15, who were murdered in her presence. They will be buried today.