Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 9th 2017 Contents news A7
Thursday, November 9, 2017
Rallying call at funeral of murdered prison officer
Unite in fight against criminal elements
JENSEN LA VENDE
The funeral service for murdered
prisons officer Glenford Gardner
was yesterday used as a rallying cry
for members of the Prison Service to
unite against the criminal elements
and for society to do likewise.
Acting Prisons Commissioner
William Alexander called on his of-
ficers not to flee but to stay and fight
“To my officers, let us not run
away, let us continue to run toward
the challenge and embrace the re-
sponsibility we swore to uphold and
show solidarity that will make us a
force to be reckoned with,” Alexan-
He said the country had evolved
into an extremely violent society
but officers must not allow fear to
extinguish their hopes.
Alexander called on parents to
take up their responsibilities and
steer their children away from
In his turn at the podium, Gen-
eral Secretary of the Prison Officers
Association Gerard Gordon said it
was only love that had prison of-
ficers doing their jobs daily.
Gordon said prison officers were
a resilient bunch of “daredevils”
who went into hostile environments
with the hope of making a change in
the lives of criminals.
He added that the death of Gard-
ner, with whom he had graduated
alongside, would embolden officers
and they should come together
since both their families and the na-
tion were in need of prison officers
“now more than ever”.
In delivering the homily at the
Church of the Resurrection Angli-
can, Vineyard Road, Carenage, Fr
Ashton Gomez said the country had
degenerated into a violent society
and it was the love of money that
was fueling crime and criminality.
Gomez said prison officers should
rekindle their passion for the job
adding that they were hired to deal
with the scourge of society. He
asked them to remember that they
had a dangerous job adding that no
officer’s death should be in vain.
He described the country as being
filled with spoilt children.
The problem, he said, was two-
fold. Many had turned away from
God and the love of money was
fueling the criminal underworld,
He told the mourners, including
National Security Minister Edmund
Dillon, that the majority of the pop-
ulation had become afraid of the mi-
nority that was the criminals.
He said the reason this was a lack
of unity and called on those in the
fight against criminals to become
Gardner’s only child, Chelsea,
who returned from studies in the
US to bury her father, joked how
he was her “walking encyclopedia”
who always had an answer for the
questions she posed.
She said no matter her age, she
was always his little girl and that
manifested itself in him appear ing
to be over-protective.
Despite his large physical stature,
she said, her father was a gentleman
who was always smiling and entre-
Gardner, 44, was killed on Octo-
ber 26, at one of his homes in Bag-
atelle, Diego Martin, 19 days after
fellow prison officer Richard Sandy
was shot dead by an ex-convict at a
bar in South Trinidad.
Gardner was killed hours after the
Remand Yard prison was searched
and cellphones and other contra-
band were seized. Shortly after, a
threat was made against officers
supposedly by an inmate, that
prison officers living in West Trini-
dad were to be killed as a result of
On Tuesday, Attorney General
Faris Al-Rawi said the police were
searching for the suspects in both
killings and were fairly certain as
to who was responsible for another
recent non-fatal attack on a prison
officer. It was also agreed that the
application for firearm users’ li-
cences by prison officers would be
Pledge to care for orphaned boys
RADHICA DE SILVA
Just as they enjoyed life together,
Khemchand Roopnarine and his
wife Patricia Harripersad were bur-
ied together following a joint funeral
at their Penal home yesterday.
The couple of Acquart Village,
Penal Rock Road, was laid to rest at
the Batchyia Trace Cemetery, three
days after being knocked down by
a Nissan Tiida in a hit-and-run acci-
Shortly after noon, hundreds of
mourners braved heavy rains to pay
their respects and to show support
for the couple’s two children—Dar-
rion, aged five and Brandon Roop-
narine aged nine.
On Sunday, the couple and their
two children had just left relatives’
home around 9.30 pm when the ac-
They were walking along the
Penal Rock Road when they were
struck. The children were walking
ahead and escaped injury.
Among those in attendance at
the funeral were Opposition leader
Kamla Persad-Bissessar and UNC
Senator Gerald Ramdeen.
As the rains pounded the tents,
mourners huddled together wiping
away tears. However, the children
appeared stunned as they gazed at
the bodies in matching coffins.
Persad-Bissessar who delivered
brief remarks said it was up to the
family and the community to take
care of the children.
“All we have now is the children.
This is so painful. Can we all pledge
that we will take care of these chil-
dren?” she asked the audience. Per-
sad-Bissessar also said Roopnarine
and Harripersad will never be for-
The couple’s cousin Richard
Jaipersad described them as insep-
“They were a unique couple who
had a good understanding of each
other. Cindy had a passion for cook-
ing and Darren had a good appetite,”
Jaipersad recalled. He said Roopnar-
ine could “wake up any crowd” and
enjoyed making people laugh.
“They were both good, helpful
people. They touched many lives
and were truly one of a kind,” Jaiper-
sad said. He added that Cindy loved
both her children and never showed
favouritism to any one of them.
Pastor Paul Hudson from the
Faith Christian Fellowship Church,
who delivered the sermon, said
despite the loss people should not
“God loves you and he cares for
you. This death did not catch God by
surprise,” Hudson said, adding that
people should prepare for death as
things in life were temporary.
Owner of car released
Meanwhile, a 44-year-old teacher
who owns the Nissan Tiida involved
in the hit-and-run was released from
police custody yesterday.
The car remains impounded. In a
statement, the teacher claimed her
boyfriend was driving the car which
killed the couple. Police went on
an operation yesterday to find him
but were unsuccessful. Up to late
yesterday, officers were told that he
wanted to surrender.
The teacher was arrested on
Monday after she carried the Nissan
Tiida to an auto-body garage to be
Sgt Ramsaran of the Penal police
station is continuing investigations.
Kamla urges mourners at funeral of couple killed in crash
Sherryann Mahadeo cries next to the casket of her late sister Patricia
Haripersad during the funeral service Patricia and her husband Khemchan
Roopnarine in Rock Road, Penal, yesterday.
PICTURE KRISTIAN DE SILVA
Khemchand Roopnarine and his
wife Patricia Harripersad
Pallbearers carry the coffin of murdered prison officer Glenford Gardner
into the hearse following his funeral service at the Church of Resurrection,
Anglican, Vineyard Road, Carenage yesterday.
Minister of National Security Edmund Dillon, right, offers words of support
to Chelsea Gardner after the funeral of her father, yesterday. At left is acting
Prison Commissioner William Alexander and partly hidden is Permanent
Secretary in the Ministry of National Security Vel Lewis.
PICTURES ABRAHAM DIAZ
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