Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 19th 2016 Contents A14
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, February 19, 2016
As hundreds of secondary school stu-
dents from schools in Port-of-Spain
walked through the city on Wednesday to
express their disgust and concern over the
apparent rising crime, including that of
violence which seems to be pervading the
country, Roman Catholic Archbishop Fr
Joseph Harris urged them to be the change
they wanted, which was so badly needed.
Dressed in their respective school uniforms
some 14 schools, including Success Laven-
tille, St Mary s College, St Anthony s, Prov-
idence Girls , St Charles, Holy Name Con-
vent, Fatima College, Servol, St Joseph s
Convent, Belmont Boys and Corpus Christi
silently marched for peace which began
around 9 am at Lord Harris Square, Pem-
They proceeded down to Woodford
Square, unto Frederick, Prince and Henry
Streets before stopping at Memorial Park.
Harris, who briefly addressed the gath-
ering at Memorial Park, hailed the youths
for their efforts but urged them to speak
out against the ills in society.
"Even though the march was a silent one
the young people must have a voice and
they must be the change they wanted. "We
cannot be a peaceful nation unless we are
a just nation. These students must be the
peacemakers of the future," Harris said.
He also told the students that they must
always strive to create harmony in their
schools, homes and wherever they went.
"The march is a wonderful idea and this
is what the country needs," Harris added.
Principal of Fatima College, Fr Gregory
Augustine, said the killings of two Success
Laventille Secondary School students were
the impetus for initiative.
"This is a walk for peace in solidarity
with Success Laventille Government. We
felt that we had to say something in terms
of our support, for their families and the
"I am also a colleague of that school s
principal and we have suffered gravely over
those two losses because those boys were
really quite talented," Augustine said.
Smith, 17, of Mulrain Trace, Picton, and
Richards, 15, of Sogren Trace were dragged
from a taxi and shot dead while on their
way home at Upper Picton Road on January
21, this year.
Asked why there was no such event, given
previous murders of school children, Augus-
tine said: "I think it is the nature of what
has happened. Clearly there was no motive.
"These were promising young men and
for their lives to be taken so tragically we
felt we had to say something in terms of
our solidarity," Augustine.
This year, according to the Catholic cal-
ender, has been declared the year of mercy.
Given this, Augustine hoped Wednesday s
march would touch the nation and to "con-
scientise" young people to engage in building
Sister Renée Hall, of the Dominican Sisters
of St Catherine and teacher at Holy Name
Convent, urged young people to take a firm
stand against violence in all forms.
"We brought out Form Four students to
be a part of this...to end the violence and
to stop the silence in this land over such
gruesome acts of murder," Hall said, adding
that the murders of Smith and Richards
had hit "the core."
On what could be achieved from the event
Hall said: "It shows that we are willing to
walk the walk...not just talking. Our students
are missing school because this is seen as
President of Arrive Alive, Sharon Ingle-
field, who came out to support the cause,
also echoed the sentiments of Augustine
and Hall, demanding that the killings and
abuse end. Sister Julie Marie Peters said the
silence over the killings and other heinous
crimes had been too deafening and called
"The students are walking in silence to
mimic the silence that is happening in the
country. We need to act now where crime
is concerned. When crime has encroached
in the school this is really maddening. It
says that something has happened to the
conscious of Trinidad," Peters added.
Calypsonians and entertainers from all
walks of life turned up at the La Divina Pas-
tora Church, Siparia, on Wednesday to say
final farewell to well-known blind musician
Among the mourners were President
Anthony Carmona, a former calypsonian and
his wife, Reema, Energy Minister Nicole Oliv-
erre, former minister Winston "Gypsy" Peters,
calypsonian Weston "Cro Cro" Rawlins and
Selvon Noel (Mr Shak), who would have all
been influenced by Joseph s musical prowess.
Joseph also played a pivotal role in the life
of soca superstar Machel Montano.
Mr Shak paid musical tribute to Joseph,
adapting Sparrow s popular "Memories" to
suit the occasion.
Officiating priest Father Martin Sirju said
parents, politicians and educators could all
take example from the way the blind musician
and composer lived his life.
Sirju reflected on some of qualities which
made Joseph a great man.
"His achievements supercedes the length
of his lifetime," he told the congregation which
included several senior police officers who
came to support their colleague, Joseph s wife
ACP Enez Joseph.
Father Sirju said Joseph never used his
blindness and humble beginnings as an excuse
to abdicate his parental duties.
Sirju also told the congregation that he had
attended the national education consultation
at the Southern Academy for Performing Arts
before the funeral, and he was taken aback
by the number of stakeholders, including
teachers and social workers, crying out for a
greater role of parents in the lives of children.
Joseph he said took his parenting role seri-
Sirju said Joseph, the founder of Christian
Sunrise Foundation, was not partisan towards
a particular ethnic group or clan.
"That is something that politicians still
suffer from," said Sirju.
He was cremated at Guides Funeral Home,
Coffee Street, San Fernando.
Speak out against
ills in society
RC Archbishop tells students at walk for peace:
Students of St Joseph's Convent, St
Joseph, during Wednesday's silent
march in protest against crime.
PHOTO COURTESY JOANNA K DE SILVA
President Anthony Carmona, centre, looks on as
his wife Reema, right, offers comforting words
to Enez Joseph during the funeral service for
her husband, Ashford Joseph at the La Divina
Pastora Roman Catholic Church in Siparia on
Wednesday. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
RC Priest at Ashford Joseph funeral:
Form Three student of Providence
Girls' Micah Cipriani, who in her letter
addressed to criminals said she, like
the majority of society, was fed up
hearing about lives being daily
"I am really tired of hearing about a
man, woman or child being killed in
"If you choose to do wrong, one
day you will suffer the consequence.
Please change your life and do the
right thing...do not take any more
lives," Cipriani told wrongdoers.
She said she too had endured pain
after, someone she loved, was killed
The murder of Japanese pan player
Asami Nagakiya, whose body was
discovered at the Queen's Park
Savannah on Ash Wednesday was
also brought to the fore, as students
also lamented that tourists were
There were also readings of several
other letters including that of Ariya
Mendonça of Holy Name Convent
and Kristiana Mahabir of St Joseph's
Convent, San Fernando, while prayers
were offered for the souls of Smith
LETTER TO CRIMINALS
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