Huddled in groups, scores of teary-eyed pupils from Belmont Secondary School hugged and consoled each other at the double funeral for cousins Tevin Alexander, 15, and Hakeem Alexander, 16, yesterday.
The farewell took place at Daybreak Assembly, Coconut Drive, Morvant. Later on, they were joined by pupils from Success/Laventille Secondary School.
The tender scenes of pupils mourning the loss of their fallen classmates unfolded before the start of the service which was conducted by Rev Ricky McClatchie.
Among those present were Lucia Reyes, the principal of Belmont Secondary, and former tourism minister Joseph Ross.
McClatchie challenged the young people to “remember their Creator in the days of their youth”.
He also advised young people from the hotspot communities of Morvant/Laventille and Chinapoo to uplift their communities.
“Being young is exciting. In the excitement of youth, a vast majority of youth feel it can become a burden to be close to God. When you are young, you feel immortal,” McClatchie said.
He continued: “The Bible says, those who are living know they will die. Somebody will say your eulogy. Somebody will send you a wreath. Death is inevitable. But we don’t know when. Death does not discriminate.”
McClatchie said they should heed “the call” to lead better lives and enter into deeper communion with God.
He said: “You are young today. But you don’t know if you will be old. Life is like a vapour. Life brings with it no guarantees.”
He told the youth there was more “purpose to life than money and sex. There is more to life than sleeping late. Enjoy life. But keep in mind with all the excitement and laughter there is a God.”
McClatchie had a word for the Laventille youth. “You might come from these areas. But you don’t have to go down the street with anyone. Don’t let them say that nothing good can come out of Laventille.”
As the service wound to a close, McClatchie invited the young people to come forward and he prayed with them.
He led several of them in the sinner’s prayer. As they stood weeping at the sight of the bodies of their deceased friends, McClatchie said: “Our society is decaying like a rotten fish. I want you to leave the service knowing there is a new name in glory.”