A HERO, a role model, and an honest friend.
These were the glowing terms used yesterday to eulogise Claxton Bay father of two Phillip Babwah, who died while trying to save his son and girlfriend from drowning on Monday.
Hundreds of relatives, neighbours and friends gathered at the funeral of Babwah, 49, of Union Road, Claxton Bay, and remembered him as a kind and wise person, who was devoted to his family.
Babwah died after he got into difficulty at Maracas Bay, where he had been bathing with his wife, Niranganie, two sons, Ronnie and Rennie, and Ronnie’s girlfriend, Wendy Jairam.
As the waves rolled in, Babwah tried to call Ronnie and Jairam out of the water.
However, he was swept away.
Babwah was pulled from the sea but died on the way to hospital.
Niranganie Babwah, her sons and Babwah’s mother, Vio Babwah, sat alongside the white coffin and wept throughout the service.
Babwah’s uncle, Wilfred Dookhoo, who knew Babwah since birth, said he lived his life as an example to other fathers.
“He was a very respectable and honest person. He told his father from early on that he did not want to go to college, but went on to learn a trade and become a very good electrician. He told me one of the things he did everyday was pray. He was an example to other parents and young people,” said Dookhoo.
Van Walcott, Babwah’s neighbour for more than 40 years, said he was a “role model to men”.
“It is so tragic to know that a wonderful husband, son, father, brother and neighbour has left us just like that. Death is no respecter of persons. This gentleman never had time to speak a negative word. I want his family to let his legacy remain.”
Another neighbour, Ellen Baird, said she remembered Babwah as “always kind-hearted and respectable”.
“We are not here forever, that is why God said we must live in peace and unity. And that is what Phillip did,” Baird said.
Yesterday’s funeral service was officiated by Pundit Ganpat Chakie Maharaj.
Babwah was cremated at the Shore of Peace, South Oropouche.
Last month, 26-year-old Nicholas Seucharan, an electrician, of Tabaquite, also drowned while trying to save the life of a boy in Mayaro.
Seucharan went along with others into the water although his family begged him not to because he could not swim.
The boy was saved by another person and Seucharan was taken away by the current and drowned.